Spanish ship Rayo (1751)
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (April 2011)|
|Builder:||Royal Dockyard, La Habana|
|Launched:||28 June 1749|
|Commissioned:||31 January 1751|
|Fate:||Wrecked 26 October 1805; wreck burned 31 October|
|Class and type:||80-gun Rayo-class ship of the line|
|Tons burthen:||1,750 bm|
|Sail plan:||Full-rigged ship|
|Complement:||80 guns, 1752: 453 men
100 guns, at Trafalgar: 812 men
The Rayo was an 80-gun ship of the line of the Spanish Navy. As was traditional for Spanish ships not named after a saint, its second, dedicatory name was San Pedro Apóstol. It fought at Trafalgar and was dismasted as a result of damage sustained in the battle. When she sortied after Trafalgar in order to recover prizes, the warship was captured by HMS Donegal. Subsequently, she ran aground and was wrecked in a storm. Her broken hull was set ablaze and destroyed by British sailors on 31 October.
Construction on Rayo started in 1748 in Havana, Cuba, alongside the Real Fénix and was launched in the summer of 1749. It was commissioned in January 1751, but was unable to leave port for the lack of crew. It took another year to find the enough men to sail. It left Havana for Cadiz with a minimal complement of 453, accompanied by the ships Princesa, Infante and Galicia and a cargo of sugar and timber. She remained in Cadiz for further outfits.
Rayo was dismasted as a result of damage sustained in the battle. A few days later, Rayo went to sea in an attempt to recapture prizes taken by the British. During this effort, it was captured by HMS Donegal. With a British prize crew aboard, she ran aground in the storm of 26 October and was wrecked. Her broken hull was set ablaze and destroyed by British sailors on 31 October.