Echo-class survey ship (1957)

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For the current class of Royal Navy survey ships, see Echo class survey ship (2002).
Class overview
Operators:  Royal Navy
Built: 1958–1959
In commission: 1958–1985
Completed: 3
Preserved: 1
General characteristics
Type: Survey ship
  • 120 long tons (122 t) standard
  • 160 long tons (163 t) full
  • 100 ft (30 m) p/p
  • 106 ft (32 m) o/a
Beam: 22 ft (6.7 m)
Draught: 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Propulsion: Paxman diesel engines, 1,400 bhp (1,044 kW), 2 shafts, 15 tons diesel fuel
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Range: 4,500 nmi (8,300 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 5 officers, 34 ratings (with accommodation for 4 / 18)
Armament: Fitted for 40/60 Bofors

The Echo-class was a class of inshore survey vessel built for the British Royal Navy in 1958–1959. The class was designed to operate in close waters such as harbour approaches, shipping lanes, rivers and estuaries. Together, the ships of this class formed the Royal Navy's Inshore Survey Squadron.[1]

The class consisted of three ships, and were of composite (wood on metal frames) construction. They were based on the same basic hull as the Ham class minesweeper and the Ley class minehunter. They had a large superstructure with an open bridge on top. The engines were up-rated to 1,400 bhp and a large superstructure was fitted. They were crewed by 5 officers and 34 ratings, with accommodation on board for 4 officers and 18 rates.

In the late 1960s, two Ham-class minesweepers, HMS Powderham and Yaxham were rebuilt as inshore survey vessels very similar to the Echos, although they could be identified by having an enclosed wheelhouse and a tripod mast. They were renamed HMS Waterwitch and Woodlark, respectively.

All ships were sold out of service in 1985.



  1. ^ Royal Navy – History of HMS Echo
  • Warships of the Royal Navy, Captain John. E. Moore RN, Jane's Publishing, 1979

The Marine Society acquired two of the three vessels circa 1985 and converted them to training vessels. They were modified, from plans loaned by the Port of London Authority who had already purchased HMS Polsham in 1967 and converted her to a survey vessel,the Maplin.

The two vessels were renamed. Jonas Hanway and Earl of Romney, and were initially based and operated in conjunction with the Gravesend Sea School on the Thames at Denton.

The third vessel is thought to have been included within the disposal package by the MOD and acted as a spare parts source for the two operational vessels.

Jonas Hanway sold 1999 and renamed HMS Egeria (A72),and currently under restoration (c2010)

See also[edit]

  • Echo class, the Royal Navy's latest survey vessels, launched in 2002.