The Sailing Frigate: A History in Ship Models
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich houses the largest collection of scale ship models in the world. Many of the models are official, contemporary artifacts made by the craftsmen of the Royal Navy or the shipbuilders themselves, ranging from the mid-seventeenth century to the present day. As such they represent a three-dimensional archive of unique importance and authority. Treated as historical evidence, they offer more detail than even the best plans, and demonstrate exactly what the ships looked like in a way that even the finest marine painter could not achieve. Now available in paperback, this book tells the story of the evolution of the cruising ship under sail. It includes a large number of model photos all in full-color as well as close-up and detail views. These are captioned in depth, but many are also annotated to focus attention on interesting or unusual features.
Although pictorial in emphasis, The Sailing Frigate weaves the pictures into an authoritative text, producing an unusual and attractive form of technical history. While the series will be of particular interest to ship modelers, all those with an interest in ship design and development will be attracted to the in-depth analysis of these beautifully presented books.
inside, rather than above, the trailboards, the model is probably intended to represent this ship. However, it is thought to have been made long after the ship commissioned and shows some anomalous features: as designed the quarterdeck rails stopped short at the after hance (above the ninth gunport) but was later carried forward to the main drift as in this model; as completed, the ship had solid (‘berthed-up’) barricades along the quarterdeck and ports rearranged for carronades. The model also
had been the smallest frigate rating, so this was a de facto admission that the 18pdr was now standard for all frigates. By the time war with France erupted once again in 1793, there were two new Surveyors, Sir John Henslow and Sir William Rule, his junior in seniority. Neither was very radical in their thinking, and their frigate designs were incremental improvements on existing 18pdr classes. The main difference was increased length. This was partly a response to a widespread concern that
prepared to cast its net even wider in the search for technical innovation. Not since the days of Lord Danby had the ideas of well-connected amateurs been given substantive official support, but some of the projects the Admiralty financed in the mid-1790s were every bit as eccentric and experimental. Probably the best-known are the double-ended sloops Dart and Arrow designed by Samuel Bentham, but the largest vessel to come from an unconventional source was the 855-ton 32-gun frigate Triton,
outside the dockyard hierarchy of the new Surveyor in 1832. Symonds had little respect for their knowledge, and even less belief in its efficacy; all he knew was that they took an age to design a ship and when it was eventually trialled it was usually out-sailed by a product of his seaman’s experience. Not surprisingly, much of the opposition to his ideas and criticism of his ships came from within this group. ROUND AND ELLIPTICAL STERNS Towards the end of the war Seppings had persuaded the
century. This complete unarmed deck was unique to the frigate, where the crew berthed in drier and more spacious conditions than found on a line of battle ship. 26. Rudder head, tiller and quadrant. Note the run of the tiller ropes across the deckhead, just forward of the cabin bulkhead and up to the wheel 27. Mizzen mast step. Unlike the two larger masts, which stepped on the keel, the mizzen stepped on the lower deck 28. Wardroom, the senior officers’ accommodation 29. The cabins were