French ship Recherche (1787)

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Recherche and Espérance-François Roux mg 0574.jpg
The Recherche and Espérance, by François Roux
French Navy Ensign French Navy EnsignFrance
Name: Recherche
Namesake: Research
Builder: Bayonne
Laid down: March 1787
Launched: October 1787
Christened: Truite
Commissioned: November 1787
Out of service: September 1794
Reclassified: Frigate in 1791
Fate: Sold for scrap
General characteristics
Class and type: Marsouin class
Type: scow
Displacement: c. 400 tonnes
Length: 36.4 m (119 ft)
Beam: 9.1 m (30 ft)
Draught: 3.9 m (13 ft)
Propulsion: Sail
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 200
Armament: 12 6-pounders
Armour: Timber

The Recherche was a 20-gun Marsouin class scow of the French Navy, later reclassified as a 12-gun frigate. She earned fame as one of the ships of Bruni d'Entrecasteaux' expedition, along with Espérance. Recherche Bay was named after her.


The ship was built as Truite and served under this name until July 1791, when she was renamed to Recherche and recommissioned as a 12-gun frigate.

She departed from Brest on 29 September 1791 for an exploration mission in search of Lapérouse, sailing to New Caledonia. Bruni d'Entrecasteaux died aboard on 21 July 1793.

On 28 October 1793, she was captured by the Dutch at Surabaya, only to be restituted to France in February 1794. In September, she was sold to Holland, and two months later she was sold for scrap.

Sources and references[edit]

  • Jean-Michel Roche, Dictionnaire de la flotte française de 1671 à nos jours, Tome I, p. 372

See also[edit]