Swallow-class sloop

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Class overview
Name: Swallow-class sloop
Preceded by: Cruizer class
Succeeded by: Racer class
Built: 1854–1857
In commission: 1856–1876
Completed: 4
Scrapped: 4
General characteristics
Displacement: 625 tons
Tons burthen: 484 68/94 bm
Length: 139 ft (42.4 m) (gundeck)
120 ft 6 in (36.7 m) (keel)
Beam: 27 ft 10 in (8.5 m)
Depth of hold: 13 ft 5 in (4.1 m)
Installed power: 60 nhp
182–224 ihp (136–167 kW)
Propulsion: Single screw
two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine
Sail plan: Barque rig
Speed: Approximately 7 knots (13 km/h)
Complement: 120
Armament: 1 × 32-pdr gun (58 cwt) on pivot
8 × 32-pdr (25 cwt) carronades

The Swallow-class sloop was a 9-gun wooden screw sloop class of four ships built for the Royal Navy between 1854 and 1857.


Built of a traditional wooden construction, the Swallow class were intended as "type of screw vessel below the Cruizer".[1]

The class were armed with a single 32-pounder gun (58cwt) gun on a pivot mount and eight 32-pounder (25cwt) carronades on the broadside. These guns were all smoothbore muzzle-loading, and were little changed from the standard guns of Nelson's era.[1]

Propulsion was provided by a two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine developing 60 nominal horsepower and an indicated horsepower of between 182 indicated horsepower (136 kW) and 224 indicated horsepower (167 kW). Propulsion was applied through a single screw and at maximum power under steam, top speed was about 7 knots (13 km/h). A barque rig of sails was carried, which meant the ships of the class had three masts with a square rig on the fore and main masts.[1]


The first two ships were ordered on 5 July 1852, Ariel on 2 April 1853 and Lyra on 3 April 1854.[1]

Name Ship Builder[1] Laid down[1] Launched[1] Fate[1]
Curlew Deptford Dockyard 19 October 1852 31 May 1854 Sold for breaking on 39 August 1865
Swallow Pembroke Dockyard 30 August 1853 12 June 1854 Became a survey ship in 1861. Sold for breaking in December 1866
Ariel Pembroke Dockyard November 1853 11 July 1854 Sold for breaking 23 May 1865
Lyra Deptford Dockyard 8 July 1854 26 March 1857 Broken up in 1876


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Winfield (2004) p.215 - 216