Rambler with an unidentified gunboat berthed to the right
|Preceded by:||Linnet class|
|Succeeded by:||Dolphin class|
|Length:||157 ft (48 m) pp|
|Beam:||29 ft 6 in (8.99 m)|
|Draught:||13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)|
|Installed power:||690 to 750 ihp (510 to 560 kW)|
|Sail plan:||Barque or full-rigged ship|
|Speed:||10.5 knots (19.4 km/h)|
|Endurance:||110t of coal|
The Algerine-class gunvessel was a class of three Royal Navy composite gunvessels built in 1880. Two of them were sold after only 10 years of service, but the other was converted to a survey ship before commissioning and survived in this role until 1907.
Design and construction
Designed in 1879 by Nathaniel Barnaby, the Chief Constructor of the Royal Navy, the Algerine-class gunvessels were similar to the Condor-class gunvessels of 1875, but with the addition of a poop deck. It had been found that the addition of both poop and focsle made gunvessels far more comfortable in the tropics; an awning spread between the two allowed men to sleep on the upper deck during hot nights. The composite method of construction used iron for the keel, stem, stern post and framing, with wooden planking. As well as the benefits of low cost, this construction allowed repairs to be conducted easily when away from well-equipped dockyards. This was the last class of composite gunvessels built for the Royal Navy.
A two-cylinder horizontal compound-expansion steam engine produced between 690 indicated horsepower (510 kW) and 760 ihp (570 kW) through a single screw, giving a speed of about 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h).
The vessels of the class were barque-rigged, but some of the pictures show yards on the mizzen mast, which would have made them ship rigged. The advantage of the barque rig was the need for less manpower, but on a distant station and with an experienced crew, and infrequent coaling stops, captains sometimes preferred to gain the greater sailing benefits of the ship rig, and had the flexibility to do so.
The Algerine-class gunvessels were designed with one 7-inch (180 mm) (4½ ton) muzzle-loading rifles, two 64-pounder muzzle-loading rifles, 2 machine guns and a light gun. The single 7-inch gun was later replaced by a pair of 5-inch breech-loading guns. Rambler, as a survey vessel, was finished with four 20-pounder breech loading guns, one machine gun and one light gun.
Rambler was commissioned in 1880 and served on the China Station, including a survey in Western Australia. In 1899 she contributed men to a naval brigade during the Boer War, and was sold in 1907.
Algerine commissioned in 1886, six years after she was launched.
|Rambler||John Elder & Company, Fairfield||26 January 1880||Survey vessel in 1884. Sold on 23 January 1907|
|Ranger||John Elder & Company, Fairfield||12 February 1880||Sold as a salvage ship on 24 September 1892; re-acquired (on hire) from November 1914 to 1919 as an ammunition hulk. Broken up in 1947|
|Algerine||Harland & Wolff, Belfast||6 November 1880||Sold on 10 May 1892|
- Winfield (2008) p.296
- Preston, Anthony; Major, John (2007). Send a Gunboat: The Victorian Navy and Supremacy at Sea, 1854–1904 (2nd ed.). London: Conway. ISBN 978-0-85177-923-2.
- "HMS Rambler at the Naval Database website". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- Bastock 1988, p.113.
- "Landing Parties of HMS Rambler and Doris, Simonstown. Boer War c.1899 at Sea Your History website". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- "HMS Ranger at the Naval Database website". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- "HMS Algerine at the Naval Database website". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- Winfield, Rif & Lyon, David (2004). The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-032-6. OCLC 52620555.
- Bastock, John (1988), Ships on the Australia Station, Child & Associates Publishing Pty Ltd; Frenchs Forest, Australia. ISBN 0-86777-348-0
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Algerine class gunvessel (1880).|