Spanish ship Rayo (1751)

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For other ships of the same name, see Spanish ship Rayo.
Plano del navío rayo de 80 cañones.jpg
Career (Spain) Bandera de España 1760-1785.svg - Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg
Name: Rayo
Ordered: 1748
Builder: Royal Dockyard, La Habana
Laid down: 1748
Launched: 28 June 1749
Commissioned: 31 January 1751
Honours and
awards:

Participated in:

Fate: Wrecked 26 October 1805; wreck burned 31 October
General characteristics
Class & type: 80-gun Rayo-class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1,750 bm
Length: 55 m
Beam: 15,80 m
Draught: 8,68 m
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 80 guns, 1752: 453 men
100 guns, at Trafalgar: 812 men
Armament:
  • As a 80 gun ship (1751)
    30 × 24-pounder guns
    32 × 18-pounder guns
    18 × 8-pounder guns
    2 × 3-pounder guns
  • As a 100 gun ship (1803)
    30 × 36-pounder guns
    32 × 18-pounder guns
    18 × 8-pounder guns
    4 × 24-pounder howitzers

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.

Service[edit]

Early[edit]

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.

Rebuild[edit]

Trafalgar[edit]

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.

External links[edit]