Look up in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. gunboat
Look up in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. gunvessel
For gun-brigs see List of gun-brigs of the Royal Navy
This is a list of
gunboat and gunvessel classes of the Royal Navy.
Steam gunboats [ edit ]
Wooden paddle gunboats (Indian service) [ edit ]
Wooden paddle gunboats (Great Lakes) [ edit ]
HMS Toronto USA
Ex-merchantman Sir Charles Adam, built in 1834 in the USA and purchased by the Royal Navy on 7 July 1838. Sold in 1843
HMS Experiment Niagara Dock Company
An ex-sailing ship, purchased on 21 July 1838 and converted to a paddle vessel. Sold in 1847 or 1848
HMS Traveller Niagara Dock Company
Ex-merchant ship, purchased at Niagara on 30 April 1839 and sold in 1844
HMS Montreal Canada
A two-masted schooner (may not have had an engine) purchased for use on Lake Erie on 18 October 1839. Sold 1848
Chippawa, Ontario June 1840
Sold to Mr Weston in March 1852
HMS Sydenham Montreal
Purchased while building at Montreal in 1841. Served in the Mediterranean as a packet. Refitted and reboilered at Woolwich in 1843-44. Sold at Malta on 11 July 1846
HMS Cherokee Kingston Navy Yard, Ontario
22 September 1842
Sold to Messrs. Campbell, Forsyth, Yarwood & Gaskin on 30 October 1851
Magnet Hamilton, Canada
The British Government made a part payment while during build, retaining the right to assume possession of the vessel on payment of the remaining portion. The right was relinquished in 1864
HMS Canada Purchased
Purchased in 1847
Iron paddle gunboat (Great Lakes) [ edit ]
HMS Mowhawk William Fairbairn & Company,
Millwall 21 February 1843
Delivered in pieces to the Kingston Yard, Lake Ontario. Served on Lake Ontario and later on Lake Huron. Lengthened by 25 ft (7.6 m) in 1846. Sold to J F Parke on 21 June 1852
Iron paddle despatch vessels/gunboats [ edit ]
HMS Bann J Scott Russell,
Millwall 5 July 1856
Sold for breaking on 18 February 1873
HMS Brune J Scott Russell, Millwall
30 August 1856
Sold at Lagos on 19 May 1863
Wooden screw gunboats [ edit ]
Composite screw gunboats [ edit ]
The gunboats designed from 1870 onwards were of composite construction, i.e. they had an iron keel, stem and stern posts, and iron framing, with wooden planking retained over the iron frames.
HMS Pheasant Devonport Dockyard
10 April 1888
Sold to Cox for breaking at Falmouth on 15 May 1906
HMS Partridge Devonport Dockyard
10 May 1888
Sold in 1909 at Simonstown to Ward of Preston; arrived Preston for breaking on 6 May 1913
HMS Peacock Pembroke Dockyard
22 June 1888
Sold to Ellis, Chepstow for breaking on 15 May 1906
HMS Pigmy Sheerness Dockyard
27 July 1888
Sold to Cox for breaking at Falmouth on 4 April 1905
HMS Pigeon Pembroke Dockyard
5 September 1888
Sold to V Grech for commercial use on 15 May 1906
HMS Plover Pembroke Dockyard
18 October 1888
Boom defence vessel in 1904. Sold at Gibraltar on 27 April 1927
Armoured gunboats [ edit ]
The only ironclads of gunboat size were three largely experimental (and unsuccessful) vessels ordered in 1864. The first two were towed to
Bermuda (being considered unsatisfactory to sail under their own power) where they served as harbour vessels. Vixen was the first twin-screw vessel built for the Royal Navy, and Waterwitch employed a form of water pump propulsion.
Iron coastal gunboats [ edit ]
HMS Staunch Charles Mitchell & Co, Walker
17 June 1867
Sold for use as a fuel barge in 1904
- Ant class Gadfly, Pincher, Griper and Tickler are sometimes referred to as the Gadfly class.
(or "River" class) (1876)
Steel coastal gunboats [ edit ]
HMS Bouncer Pembroke Dockyard
15 March 1881
Ordered to be converted to a tank vessel in October 1904, but instead sold at Sheerness on 4 April 1905
HMS Insolent Pembroke Dockyard
15 March 1881
Gate vessel in January 1918. Foundered in Portsmouth Harbour on 1 July 1922; the wreck was sold to J H Pounds, Portsmouth, on 18 June 1925
HMS Handy Charles Mitchell and Company, Walker
30 December 1882
Renamed Excellent in May 1891 as a training ship, then Calcutta on 1 November 1916, and finally Snapper in August 1917. Sold on 27 April 1924. She was sold again to Pounds shipbreakers in the 1970s but not broken up. She was finally scrapped in 2008.
HMS Drudge Armstrong Whitworth
15 June 1887
Built for the Ordnance Department and transferred to the Royal Navy in 1901. Renamed Excellent on 21 November 1916 and Dryad on 26 January 1919. Renamed back to Drudge later in 1919 and sold on 27 March 1920
Torpedo ram [ edit ]
Polyphemus (1881) Hull 2 (cancelled 10 November 1882 before being named)
Adventure (cancelled 12 August 1885)
Torpedo gunboats [ edit ]
Steel gunboats [ edit ]
River gunboats [ edit ]
The Insect-class gunboats were a class of small, but well-armed Royal Navy ships designed for use in shallow rivers or inshore. Several of them took also part in World War II.
: built by Aphis Ailsa shipbuilding, scrapped Singapore, 1947
: built by Bee Ailsa shipbuilding, flagship of Rear Admiral, Yangtze (RAY), sold in March 1939.
: built by Cicala Barclay Curle, sunk by Japanese bombs on 21 December 1941.
: built by Cockchafer Barclay Curle, sold for scrap in 1949, the last surviving member of the class.
: built by Cricket Barclay Curle, heavily damaged by bombs on 29 June 1941; used as target by Royal Navy and sunk off Cyprus 1944.
: built by Glowworm Barclay Curle, scrapped September 1928.
: built by Gnat Lobnitz, damaged by U-boat 21 October 1941, declared total loss, and then used as anti-aircraft platform. Scrapped 1946
: built by Ladybird Lobnitz, sunk on 12 May 1941 off Tobruk during World War II, then used as an anti-aircraft position
: built by Mantis William Doxford & Sons, sold in January 1940 and subsequently scrapped.
: built by Moth William Doxford & Sons, scuttled in Hong Kong 1941, captured and repaired by the Japanese and renamed Suma, sunk by mines in Yangtze River on 19 March 1945.
: built by Wood, Skinner & Co, scrapped in 1948. Scarab built by Wood, Skinner & Co, briefly flagship of the Tarantula British Pacific Fleet, expended as a target 1946
Steam gunvessels [ edit ]
Wooden paddle gunvessels [ edit ]
(1831) - steam vessel rated from 1837 as a first-class steam gunvessel Pluto class
(1831) - steam vessels reclassified in 1844 as first-class steam gunvessels Firebrand class
HMS Firebrand Curling, Young & Company, Limehouse
11 July 1831
Re-engined in 1833 and renamed Black Eagle on 5 February 1842, lengthened in 1843 and re-rated as a paddle yacht, completing service as Admiralty yacht until 1857. Broken up at Portsmouth in March 1876
HMS Flamer Fletcher & Fearnall, Limehouse
11 August 1831
Refitted for the Holyhead Station in 1848-49. Lost on the coast of West Africa off Monrovia on 22 November 1850
(1832) - steam vessels reclassified in 1844 as first-class steam gunvessels Firefly class
(1834) - steam vessels reclassified in 1844 as first-class steam gunvessels Tartarus class
HMS Tartarus Pembroke Dockyard
23 June 1834
Re-engined in 1837-38. Breaking completed at Malta on 6 November 1860
HMS Blazer Chatham Dockyard
Became a survey ship in January 1843. Breaking up completed at Portsmouth in August 1853
(1840) - steam vessels reclassified in 1844 as second class steam gunvessels Lizard class
Woolwich Dockyard 7 January 1840
Initially fitted for surveying. Lost in collision with the French armed steamer Veloce between Gibraltar and Cadiz on 26 July 1843
HMS Locust Woolwich Dockyard
18 April 1840
Became a tug in 1869. Sold at Sheerness in 1895
(1844) - steam vessel reclassified in 1844 as a first-class steam gunvessel Porcupine class
HMS Porcupine Deptford Dockyard
17 June 1844
Became a survey ship in 1862. Sold in 1883
(1845) - steam vessel reclassified in 1844 as a first-class steam gunvessel Spitfire class
HMS Spitfire Deptford Dockyard
26 March 1845
Became a survey ship in 1851 and a tug in 1861. Broken up at Bermuda in 1888
Iron paddle gunvessels [ edit ]
Ditchburn & Mare, Leamouth 25 February 1845
Sold at Sydney on 15 May 1856
Harpy Ditchburn & Mare, Leamouth
4 March 1845
Transferred to the War Office as a target on 26 October 1892 and sold as a wreck in 1909
Myrmidon class (1845)
Myrmidon Ditchburn & Mare, Leamouth
Sold at Fernando Po on 1 December 1858
Grappler William Fairbairn & Company, Millwall
30 December 1845
Sold to W P Beach for breaking on 2 February 1850
Recruit J Scott Russell & Robinson, Millwall
Ex-Prussian Salamander, commissioned into the Royal Navy on 22 December 1854. Sold to E Bates on 23 September 1869
Weser J Scott Russell & Robinson, Millwall
Ex-Prussian Nix, commissioned into the Royal Navy on 22 December 1854. Harbour service in 1866. Sold at Malta on 29 October 1873
NB. A third vessel of the class was retained by Prussia.
Wooden screw gunvessels [ edit ]
This section includes two early iron-hulled screw gunvessels ordered in May 1845, which in other respects were half-sisters to two wooden-hulled gunvessels ordered at the same time. The four vessels comprised the first-class gunvessels
Rifleman (wooden hulled) and Sharpshooter (iron hulled), and the second-class gunvessels Teazer (wooden hulled) and Minx (iron hulled). Further vessels ordered later to the same design were either cancelled or built to very different concepts. Rifleman and Sharpshooter were re-classed as sloops in 1854.
Composite screw gunvessels [ edit ]
The gunvessels designed from 1867 onwards were of composite construction, i.e. they had an iron keel, stem and stern posts, and iron framing, with wooden planking retained over the iron frames.
HMS Swift Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Company, Leamouth, London
29 November 1879
Sold at Hong Kong in 1920 for mercantile use, renamed Hoi Ching
HMS Linnet Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding Company, Leamouth, London
30 January 1880
Sold as a salvage vessel on 27 April 1904
William Raylton Dixon, Middlesbrough 9 December 1882
Sailing training ship in 1899. Hulked as accommodation for submarines in 1907. Submarine depot ship in 1912. Sold on 13 March 1925, but foundered under tow on 19 April 1925, then raised and beached; and used as an accommodation school ship until broken up in 1977 at Bo'ness
HMS Wanderer William Raylton Dixon, Middlesbrough
8 February 1883
Sailing training ship (brig-rigged) in 1894. Sold to Ward, Preston for breaking in February 1907
Like the preceding
Arab to Dolphin Classes, these were designed by Nathaniel Barnaby; they were re-classed as screw sloops on 26 November 1884.
Devonport Dockyard 23 June 1884
Boom defence 1903; salvage vessel 1917,laid up 1922, then sold to Hughes Bolckow, Blyth on 19 February 1929 for breaking up.
Devonport Dockyard 14 November 1883
Boom defence 1904; salvage vessel 1917, renamed Reindeer I. Sold as salvage ship 12 July 1924; abandoned at sea March 1932.
Devonport Dockyard 6 August 1884
Tender to Britannia at Dartmouth 1896; to Portsmouth February 1903. Salvage vessel June 1917. Sold to Hughes Bolckow, Blyth on 6 November 1928 for breaking up.
Devonport Dockyard 27 July 1885
Sold 12 April 1904.
Milford Haven Shipbuilding Company 6 September 1884
Sold 15 December 1899 for breaking, which took place at Milford Haven in 1904.
Malta Dockyard 20 March 1888
Boom defence May 1905; salvage vessel December 1915, renamed Ringdove; sold to Falmouth Docks Board on 9 July 1920.
Steel torpedo-and-gunvessels [ edit ]
References [ edit ]