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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

TORPEDO SHIPS

SHARPSHOOTER torpedo gunboats (1889-1892)

Gossamer 1905

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Sharpshooter   Devonport DYd 13/1/1888 30/11/1888 8/1889 hulk 1904
Spanker C86, C82, C83 Devonport DYd 12/4/1888 27/2/1889 10/1890 minesweeper 1909, sold 3/1920
Speedwell P89, PA4 Devonport DYd 18/4/1888 15/3/1889 7/1890 minesweeper 1909, sold 3/1920
Sheldrake   Chatham DYd 4/7/1888 30/3/1889 3/1890 sold 7/1907
Skipjack P81, PA3 Chatham DYd 4/7/1888 30/4/1889 7/1891 minesweeper 1909, sold 4/1920
Seagull C85, C81, C82 Chatham DYd 23/4/1888 31/5/1889 1/1891 minesweeper 1909, collision 30/9/1918
Salamander   Chatham DYd 23/4/1888 31/5/1889 7/1891 sold 5/1906
Boomerang (ex-Whiting) (RAN)   Armstrong, Elswick 17/8/1888 24/7/1889 2/1891 sold 7/1905
Karakatta (ex-Wizard) (RAN)   Armstrong, Elswick 17/8/1888 27/8/1889 2/1891 sold 1/1905
Gleaner   Sheerness DYd 21/1/1889 9/1/1890 12/1891 sold 4/1905
Gossamer D58, N52 Sheerness DYd 21/1/1889 9/1/1890 9/1891 minesweeper 1908, sold 3/1920
Assaye (RIM)   Armstrong, Elswick 19/11/1888 11/2/1890 2/1892 sold 5/1904
Plassey (RIM)   Armstrong, Elswick 19/11/1888 5/7/1890 2/1892 sold 5/1904

 

Displacement normal, t

735

Displacement full, t

 

Length, m

70.1 pp

Breadth, m

8.23

Draught, m

3.20

No of shafts

2

Machinery

3-cyl VTE, 4 locomotive boilers

Power, h. p.

natural draught: 2500, forced draught: 3600

Max speed, kts

natural draught: 16.5, forced draught: 19

Fuel, t

coal 100

Endurance, nm(kts) 2500(10)

Armament

RN and RAN ships: 2 x 1 - 120/40 QF Mk I/II/III/IV, 4 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 1 - 356 TT (bow, aw), 2 x 2 - 356 TT (8 at all)

RIM ships: 2 x 1 - 120/40 QF Mk I/II/III/IV, 4 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 1 - 356 TT (bow, aw), 2 x 1 - 356 TT (6 at all)

Complement

91

Ship project history: This numerically large class showed a considerable increase in size over the Grasshoppers, and was sometimes known as the Assaye or Gossamer class. One of the torpedo tubes was fixed in the bow, the others in paired mounts on either side amidships. The resemblance to contemporary small cruisers was marked. Whilst the vessels built in the Royal Dockyards were allocated to the Royal Navy (provided under the Naval Defence Act, 1889), the four built by Armstrong were allocated to colonial stations, two to the Royal Indian Marine, and two (names were changed in 1890) to the Australian station.  The original intention had been to fit a similar gun armament to the Grasshoppers (l- 102mm, 6-47mm) but trials at Elswick had shown that the 120mm QF gun could fire 10 times per minute as against 2 times for the old 102mm BL so the new gun was adopted instead. Initially the class suffered from hull weakness.

Modernizations: 1895, Sharpshooter: was reboilered with 4 Belleville boilers

1896-1899, Sheldrake: was reboilered with 4 Babcock boilers

1896-1899, Seagull: was reboilered with 4 Niclausse boilers

1896-1899, Spanker: was reboilered with 4 Du Temple small-tube boilers

1896-1899, Salamander: was reboilered with 4 Mumford small-tube boilers

1896-1899, Speedwell: was reboilered with 4 Thornycroft small-tube boilers

1908, Gossamer; 1909, Spanker, Speedwell, Skipjack, Seagull: were converted to minesweepers; - 2 x 2 - 356 TT; + kite winch and gallows on quarterdeck.

Naval service: Sharpshooter was renamed Northampton in 1904 and relegated to instructional duties. She was broken up in 1922. Seagull was sunk in collision with s/s Corrib in the Clyde. Skipjack served with Fishery Protection Squadron in 1906-1908.

Gleaner as built

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14