CharlieZardoz

American sailing warships with no plans or records

283 posts in this topic

Talos has there been any progress on the plan for John Adams after sloop of war conversion?

 

And wow look at those sloops! Were some of those conjectural brigs used? I don't see Boxer among those listed.

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I...crap, in my overzealous quest to even the two sheets, I must have missed it. I'll update the sheets later and add it. As far as I know, none of the proposed brigs were built, the USN doing it's normal neglect of small ships.

I've been busy and totally slacked on John Adams. Did other ones recently, completing the Bittern Crane, the original Macedonian, Epervier, a gun brig, revenue cutter Morris, and doing work on the second Macedonian, Brandywine, Sabine/Santee, and a few odds and ends.

EDIT: Oh, wait Boxer (as in the later one) is on one of my schooner sheets.

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The 1815 Brig USS Boxer may have been one of the two unnamed brigs shown above. The unnamed 18-gun brig has the unusual feature of having ten broadside ports, plus a bridle port. Makes her look quite powerful! The only other brig so equipped was the 1803 Argus, as rebuilt in 1811, when they added an extra pair of ports and carronades.

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I typed the last without my references. Chapelle thought that the unnamed 16-gun brig is Boxer, while the 18-gun was the plans for Saranac and Chippewa, as both were said to have two more guns than their ratings (14 and 16 guns respectively), without filling the bridle ports. These would be powerful brigs, with a pair of long 18s, long 12s, and the rest of their guns being 32-pdr carronades. Sailed well, but they were made of green timber and rotted very quickly.

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Hmm, I'm not sure but the ship draught I am inquiring about is this one, the Boxer 1831 Enterprise and Experiment which doesn't look like the 16 gun brig to my eyes. Actually I think it is similar to the "brigantine based on Dolphin" but can't be that one since it's from 1835, but like an improved version or some sort yes? :)

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post-15936-0-10638000-1482645233_thumb.jpg

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Well yes, multiple ships with the same name. :)

 

In any case, as the 1831 Boxer was built as a schooner, I had her on the schooner sheet (just like Vixen).

 

EDIT: That top plan you have is likely Enterprise. Chapelle notes some differences from Boxer, including the missing molding under the gunports and the lack of curved rail coming from the head to the knightheads.

 

The closer one to Humphreys' design for Boxer (while not being an exact ancestor) is his 88' brigantine (in my sheet it's the one after the Brigantine based on Dolphin), which was one of a number of small sip designs he made, including studies of schooners between 100' down to 88'.  That Brigantine based on Dolphin is just a simple lengthening of the brig, but it features the correct body plan Dolphin was built to, not the original lines visible in the plans.

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Ah yes there it is! I understand now the schooner rig isn't immediately apparent of course but that makes sense now seeing this list. I guess in the same way the brig waned in usefulness after the 1830s the schooner was even less utilized as the sloop of war and steam ships became the backbone of the navy. So did this Boxer class remain schooners their entire career? Also Grampus is such a lovely looking schooner and some of these others I'm reading about right now never noticed them before. Cool stuff.

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Ah yes there it is! I understand now the schooner rig isn't immediately apparent of course but that makes sense now seeing this list. I guess in the same way the brig waned in usefulness after the 1830s the schooner was even less utilized as the sloop of war and steam ships became the backbone of the navy. So did this Boxer class remain schooners their entire career? Also Grampus is such a lovely looking schooner and some of these others I'm reading about right now never noticed them before. Cool stuff.

 

Grampus is a favorite  of mine, I love her lines. Such an elegant schooner. As far as Boxer and her sisters, they were all converted into brigs. Heavily overloaded with guns and boats, they had a large sail area and were considered tender, but good sailors. That was the case of most of the late US brigs, which all were extreme designs. Two even were lost to capsizing.

 

The Navy never really loved the schooner rig. They tended to buy them when needed and get rid of them quickly. There was always a surge of popularity around wartime, like the War of 1812, but they didn't last long after that. Several were converted to brigs, like Enterprise, Vixen, and Boxer, while others were simply gotten rid of, or lost (they had a higher loss rate than the larger ships). While the brig has several advantages over the schooner, including better performance on a wider range of wind directions, much better ability to cope with battle damage, and more maneuverability, I get the feeling that to the USN, the schooner was never a "proper" navy design. The Navy wasn't really much for small ships anyway, instead purchasing many of them for a specific mission, like the Anti-piracy operations in the Carribean, or anti-slavery patrols for the Africa Squadron (this mission was done by the naval construction ones instead). By the time you get to the 1830s-1840s, the sloop (which has grown larger and larger) is the backbone of the US Navy alongside the heavy frigates of the Brandywine class, pushing out schooners and brigs from above.

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Correspondence involving the conversion of the 1799 Enterprise from a schooner into a brig following her 1811 repair, states that it was done to make her a "more stable gun platform". This was done on her then commander's initiative (Lt. Johnston Blakeley), and it was approved by Washington Navy Yard's commandant, Capt. Thomas Tingey, and then SecNav Paul Hamilton signed off on it.

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I suppose it was to help the ships appear more like menacing warships since the US fleet was so much smaller than the British or French the idea of making our small fleet look more imposing must have been a factor. I mean the Continental navy was comprised largely of sloops and galleys, then we upgraded to schooners then brigs then sloops, building what was essentially affordable with a few superships scattered about. Regarding Enterprize I imagine she must have looked something like Prince De Neufchatel by the time of 1815-1820 after all her rebuilds. Could be wrong on that but with so many possible changes I could imagine the two might have looked similar.

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I suppose it was to help the ships appear more like menacing warships since the US fleet was so much smaller than the British or French the idea of making our small fleet look more imposing must have been a factor. I mean the Continental navy was comprised largely of sloops and galleys, then we upgraded to schooners then brigs then sloops, building what was essentially affordable with a few superships scattered about. Regarding Enterprize I imagine she must have looked something like Prince De Neufchatel by the time of 1815-1820 after all her rebuilds. Could be wrong on that but with so many possible changes I could imagine the two might have looked similar.

 

You also have the problem of finding enough commands for the higher ranking officers too. Can't have a Captain commanding a brig, after all. But certainly a large part of it is small fleet syndrome: they'll never have the numerical advantage, so each hull has to be as useful and powerful in that class as they can be. That's a big part of the reason for the 44s in the first place.

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How about the USS Repulse, 8 gun xebec originally built in 1775 for the Pennsylvania Navy and loaned to the USN in April 1777?

Failed to make the run past Philadelphia in November 1777, scuttled.

No Further Information.

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Let me just interject a word of caution concerning the semantics of the time.  It is important to keep in mind that for the period under discussion (1770 - 1840), the term "Sloop of War" had absolutely nothing to do with the rig the vessel carried.  A "Sloop of War" was anything smaller than the smallest rated war ship (generally a 20 gun 6th rate).  In the American nomenclature, the early definition was quite similar.  The rig was immaterial - there were Brig Sloops of War, Schooner Sloops of War.  During the period of interest, terminology concerning the rig was much less precise and varied regionally.  Standardization would have to wait the development of the more bureaucratic navy during the mid 19th century.

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