Marathon-class cruiser

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Chromolithograph of HMS Magicienne by W. Fred Mitchell, 1892
Chromolithograph of HMS Magicienne by W. Fred Mitchell, 1892
Class overview
Name: Marathon class
Builders: Fairfields, Govan
Portsmouth Naval Dockyard
Chatham Naval Dockyard
Operators:  Royal Navy
Built: 1887–1889
In commission: 1889–1920
Completed: 5
Retired: 5
General characteristics
Type: 2nd class cruiser
Displacement: 2,800 long tons (2,845 t) (Medea & Medusa)
2,950 long tons (2,997 t) (Melpomene, Magicienne & Marathon)
Propulsion: Dürr boilers (Medusa)[1]
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 218
Armament:

• 6 × 6 in (152.4 mm) guns
• 9 × 6-pounder quick firing guns
• 1 × 3-pounder gun
• 3 × machine guns

• 2 × torpedo tubes

The Marathon class cruiser was a class of second class cruiser of the Royal Navy ordered under the naval programme of 1887. It was a smaller version of the Mersey class (lead ship - HMS Mersey).

Three of the ships, Melpomene, Magicienne and Marathon, were built for foreign (tropical) service, with a sheath of wood and copper - this added weight and made them slightly slower.

Ships[edit]

Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed
HMS Marathon Fairfields, Govan 10 August 1887 23 August 1888 1889
HMS Magicienne Fairfields, Govan 10 August 1887 12 May 1888 1889
HMS Medea Chatham 25 April 1887 9 June 1888 1889
HMS Melpomene Portsmouth 10 October 1887 20 September 1888 1890
HMS Medusa Chatham 25 August 1887 11 August 1888 1889
HMS Magicienne (picture taken between 1890 and 1899).

Boiler trials[edit]

By 1901, the Royal Navy had ordered eight Dürr boilers from Germany, to be installed as a trial on board Medusa as a substitute for the Belleville boilers then in naval use.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, D.K. (2010) [1997]. Warrior to Dreadnought. Seaforth. p. 165. ISBN 978-1-84832-086-4. 
  2. ^ "Dürr water-tube boilers". William Allan MP. Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (House of Commons) 92. col. 907. "Eight water-tube boilers of the Durr type have been ordered from Germany. The total cost of the boilers is £19,450. This is exclusive of spare parts and fitting on board. The boilers are to be placed on board H.M.S. "Medusa." They have been guaranteed by the maker to give 155,000 lbs. dry steam per hour from feed water at 80 deg. F., with an air pressure of 1½ inches; 104,000 lbs. per hour with ½ inch air pressure (that used for continuous steaming); and 80,000 lbs. per hour with natural draught."