HMS Daring (1893)

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HMS DARING (1893).jpg
HMS Daring
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Daring
Builder: John I. Thornycroft & Company
Cost: c.£36,000
Yard number: 287
Laid down: July 1892
Launched: 25 November 1893
Commissioned: February 1895
Decommissioned: 1912
  • Splendide audax
  • ("Finely Daring")
Fate: Sold and broken up
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Daring-class torpedo boat destroyer
  • 260 long tons (264 t) light
  • 287.8 long tons (292 t) full load
Length: 185 ft (56 m) oa
Beam: 19 ft (5.8 m)
Draught: 7 ft (2.1 m)
Installed power: 4,200 hp (3,132 kW)
  • 2 Thornycroft water-tube boilers
  • 2 × triple-expansion steam engines
  • 2 shafts
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h)
Complement: 46 - 53

HMS Daring and HMS Decoy together made up the Daring class of torpedo boat destroyers which served with the Royal Navy during the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. On trial she made headlines as the 'Fastest Boat Ever'. The introduction of steam turbines after 1897 quickly made her and her sisters obsolete and she was sold off in 1912.


The ship was laid down as yard number 287 at the Thornycroft yard at Chiswick in July 1892.[1] She was launched on 25 November 1893 following the naming ceremony by Mrs Thornycroft, the wife of the company founder John Isaac Thornycroft.[2] Thornycroft records suggest that Decoy and Daring together cost £66,948, but a letter to the Austrian Naval Attaché stated that the vessels had cost the Admiralty of £36,840 per vessel.[1] Daring commenced her trials off Gravesend on 17 January 1894 and soon moved to the measured mile at Maplin Sands near Southend. On 19 July she managed a speed of 28.21 knots over the measured mile, exceeding her design speed and earning her the sobriquet of the 'Fastest Boat Ever'.[3] Her coal consumption trial on 18 September showed that on one ton of coal she could travel nearly 38 nautical miles at 10 knots on one boiler.[4] She was completed in February 1895.[1]

Service history[edit]

Daring appears to have served in home waters between 1895 and 1912.[4] She was commissioned at Portsmouth on 23 February 1900 as tender to the HMS Excellent, gunnery school situated on Whale Island near Portsmouth.[5] In early June 1901 a boiler explosion occurred on board Daring at anchor off Portsmouth, causing the death of a crew-member and injuring several others. An inquiry showed that some tubes were blown out of the lower drum, thus freeing a flood of scalding water and steam.[6] She was passed into the Fleet reserve at Portsmouth in early June 1902, and later the same month joined the instructional flotilla at Plymouth.[7] Lieutenant A. S. Susmann was appointed in command on 8 August 1902.[8] On 26 October 1907 a minor collision took place between Daring and the destroyer Starfish at Devonport, both ships' hulls being dented.[9]


Daring was sold on 10 April 1912.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Lyon (1996), pp.40-41.
  2. ^ "Naval & Military Intelligence". Official Appointments and Notices. The Times (34119). London. 27 November 1893. col B, p. 7. 
  3. ^ "Fastest Boat Ever". New York Times. 5 August 1894. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  4. ^ a b c Lyon (1996), p.43.
  5. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36074). London. 24 February 1900. p. 8. 
  6. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36479). London. 12 June 1901. p. 13. 
  7. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36786). London. 5 June 1902. p. 7. 
  8. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36839). London. 6 August 1902. p. 8. 
  9. ^ "Naval Matters—Past and Prospective: Devonport Dockyard". The Marine Engineer and Naval Architect. Vol. 30. 1 December 1907. p. 172.