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Question - what boats would an 18th C Frigate have carried?


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I am building a mid 18th century 28 gun British frigate and am making preparations to construct a boat (or boats) for it. Some questions.

 

How many boats would this ship have had and what size/types?

 

Was there any standard that dictated the number/types of boats used? 

 

I have looked in Steele ( http://hnsa.org/doc/steel/index.htm ) but could not find the answer (might not have looked in the right place).

 

The NMM's model of Lowestoft (http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66300.html ) appears to only have (what to my eyes is) a 28ft pinnace.

 

Any thoughts?  ( I am probably angling for BE to come to my aid again! :) )

 

Ian M.

 

 

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Hi Ian,

 

I found this in Laverys´ Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War. " Probably the most important order was that of 1769 which regulated the boats issued to ships of 10 to 36 guns." 

 

Frigates of 28 to 36 guns had three boats each,a Longboat,a Pinnace and a Yawl. Ships of 28 guns had longboats 21 or 22 ft, Pinnaces of 28 ft and Yawls of 22 or 23 ft. That would seem to fit roughly with what you are looking for.  

 

Dave :dancetl6:

Edited by davyboy
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Dave,

 

Thanks for that. That is very useful. Sounds like I have quite a bit of small boat making to do! :)

 

Is there any indication how they would be mounted on the ship? I have seen boats stacked 2 high in the waist area but not sure where the third would go. The ship I am modeling did not have any way of mounting it at the stern.

 

Ian M.

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Ian,

 

The main topsail sheet bitts were often a gallows bitt or sometimes a gallows was fitted just fwd of them. Spare topmasts and spars were stowed on these,the fwd ends resting on the aft edge of the forecastle. The largest boat would be stowed on top of these with possibly the smallest boat stowed upside down on it. There was not enough width to place boats side by side. If your capstan is aft of the mainmast it may be possible to stow a third boat on the deck underneath the others.

 

TBH,Lavery is a bit vague on all this giving lots of possibilities. As his book is 25+ years old maybe further research has turned up better info. Perhaps one of our knowledgeable members will be able to give you a better answer,I´m no expert  :D  Stern and quarter davits were a late 18th century development on large ships and skid beams (Lavery calls them boat booms) across the waist from the gangways also late in appearing on frigates. Around 1800 according to Laverys´book.  

 

Hope this is of help to you. :)

 

Dave :dancetl6:

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Dave,

 

That is very helpful. Thanks. 

 

I was debating between using a pair of spare topmasts or skid beams. My ship was built 1748 so from your response the spare topmasts is the way forward.

 

It does make for an interesting thought. I can spend many happy hours making the detail inside each of the boats then hide that detail by stacking boats with the top one upside down. I suppose it is as per the old adage "at least I know the detail is there". :)

 

Ian M.

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Druxey,

 

Thanks for that info.

 

I had heard that the ship's boats were all towed during battle engagements, I guess to keep them out of harm's way and also to reduce deck clutter.

 

From a modeling point of view I suppose towed boats would only appear on a diorama. I could leave a couple of boats off the model on the basis that they are "off scene"! :)

 

Ian M.

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I believe boats were towed (other than in action) for ready use, Ian. It would take far too long to rig, hoist and lower a boat over the side in an emergency such as a man overboard. Also, open boats need to be kept wet to remain water-tight. My last model had two of the three ships' boats mounted so as to appear floating off the stern quarters. The third was rigged, ready to hoist from the waist.

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