HMS Decoy (1871)

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H.M's Gunboat Decoy at sea (cropped) RMG PW8172.jpg
H.M's Gunboat Decoy at sea
Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Decoy
Ordered: 1871
Builder: Pembroke Dockyard
Launched: 12 October 1871
Fate: Sold in 1885
General characteristics
Class and type: Ariel-class gunboat
Displacement: 430 tons
Tons burthen: 295 bm
Length: 125 ft 0 in (38.10 m)
Beam: 22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
Draught: 10 ft 3 in (3.12 m) max
Installed power:
  • 2-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine
  • Two boilers
  • Single (hoisting) screw
Sail plan: Three-masted barquentine rig
Speed: 9.5 kn (17.6 km/h)

HMS Decoy was an Ariel-class composite gunboat of the Royal Navy, built at Pembroke Dockyard and launched on 12 October 1871. She served in both the Third Anglo-Ashanti War in 1873 and the Bombardment of Alexandria in 1882. She rapidly became obsolete and was sold in 1885.

Design and construction[edit]

Designed by Sir Edward Reed, Chief Constructor of the Royal Navy, the Ariel-class gunboats were the first gunboats of composite construction. She was armed with two 6-inch (150 mm) 64-pounder (56cwt) muzzle-loading rifles and two 4-inch (100 mm) 20-pounder Armstrong breech loaders. All 4 guns were mounted on traversing carriages. All the ships of the class carried a three-masted barquentine rig.

Operational service[edit]

Decoy was deployed off the coast of West Africa to support the operations on the Gold Coast. She deployed with Druid and Argus.[1] She also took part in the bombardment of Bootry.

In 1882 she formed part of the Naval and Military forces at the Bombardment of Alexandria.[2] Argus, Isis, and Beacon blockaded Damietta.[3]


She was sold at Malta in 1885.


  1. ^ Illustrated London News, 26 July 1873, p. 89
  2. ^ Goodrich, Caspar F (Lt Cdr), Report of the British Naval and Military Operations In Egypt 1882, Navy Department, Washington, 1885, p. 30
  3. ^ The Graphic, 7 October 1882, p. 369


  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
  • "HMS Decoy at the Naval Database website". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  • Preston, Antony; 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.