HMS Racer (1884)

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HMS Racer (1884).jpg
HMS Racer
United Kingdom
Class and type: Mariner-class composite screw sloop
Name: HMS Racer
Builder: Devonport Dockyard
Cost: Hull: £37,000, Machinery: £12,000[1]
Laid down: 9 April 1883[1]
Launched: 6 August 1884
Commissioned: 9 April 1885
General characteristics
Displacement: 970 tons
Length: 167 ft (51 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draught: 14 ft (4.3 m)[1]
Installed power: 850 ihp (630 kW)
  • 2-cylinder horizontal compound-expansion steam engine
  • Single screw[1]
Sail plan: Barque-rigged
Speed: 11 12 knots (21.3 km/h)
Range: Approximately 2,100 nmi (3,900 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h)[1]
Complement: 126

HMS Racer was a Royal Navy Mariner-class composite screw gunvessel of 8 guns.[2]


Designed by Nathaniel Barnaby,[1] the Royal Navy Director of Naval Construction, her hull was of composite construction; that is, iron keel, frames, stem and stern posts with wooden planking. She was fitted with a 2-cylinder horizontal compound-expansion steam engine driving a single screw, produced by Hawthorn Leslie. She was rigged with three masts, with square rig on the fore- and main-masts, making her a barque-rigged vessel. Her keel was laid at Devonport Royal Dockyard on 9 April 1883 and she was launched on 6 August 1884.[1] Her entire class were re-classified in November 1884 as sloops before they entered service.


Racer was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 9 April 1885. She served in Sierra Leone in 1886[3] and became a tender to the training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth, Devon in 1896. She was present at the Fleet Review at Spithead in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee on 26 June 1897.[3] Commander Michael Stephens Beatty was in command from 12 November 1899 until Autumn 1902, when Commander Owen Francis Gillett was appointed in command.[4] When Royal Navy officer training moved to Royal Naval College, Osborne, Cowes in 1903, Racer became a tender to the new establishment. She was rebuilt in 1916-1917 as a salvage vessel, being given the starboard machinery of Torpedo Boat 8, as well as two 17-ton derricks and submersible electric, steam centrifugal and compressed air pumps capable of pumping 3000 tonnes (3 million litres) of water per hour.[5]


Racer was sold to Hughes Bolckow of Blyth on 6 November 1928.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h 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. 
  2. ^ "Cruisers at battleships-cruisers website". Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  3. ^ a b "HMS Racer at the Naval Database website". Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  4. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36859). London. 29 August 1902. p. 8. 
  5. ^ "HMS Racer (salvage vessel) at the Naval Database website". Retrieved 2008-09-11.