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AMAZON wooden screw sloops (1866-1871)


Nymphe 1866


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Amazon     Pembroke DYd 1864 23.5.1865 1866 collision 10.7.1866
Vestal     Pembroke DYd 1864 16.11.1865 1867 sold 12.1884
Niobe     Deptford DYd 1864 31.5.1866 1871 wrecked 21.5.1874
Dryad     Devonport DYd 4.1865 25.9.1866 1867 sold 9.1885
Daphne     Pembroke DYd 1865 23.10.1866 1867 sold 11.1882
Nymphe     Deptford DYd 1865 24.11.1866 1867 sold 12.1884

Technical data

Displacement normal, t

Amazon: 1525

Vestal: 1597

Niobe: 1570

Dryad: 1574

Daphne: 1640

Nymphe: 1555

Displacement full, t 
Length, m

57.0 pp

Breadth, m


Draught, m

4.69 hold depth

No of shafts



Amazon, Niobe, Dryad, Daphne: sails + 4 boilers, 1 2-cyl HSE

Vestal, Nymphe: sails + 4 boilers, 1 3-cyl HSE

Power, h. p.

Amazon: 1455

Vestal: 2154

Niobe: 1833

Dryad: 1464

Daphne: 1927

Nymphe: 2172

Max speed, kts

Amazon, Niobe: 12.3

Vestal: 12.8

Dryad: 12

Daphne: 12.5

Nymphe: 13.1

Fuel, t

coal 200

Endurance, nm(kts)



2 x 1 - 178/16 MLR Mk III, 2 x 1 - 160/16 64pdr 64cwt MLR



<i>Nymphe </i>1866
Nymphe 1866

Project history

Designed by Sir Edward Reed, this class was the first break through from the traditional sloop. The vessels were the first to be constructed with a poop and a topgallant forecastle, and the first to be fitted with Reed's design of ram bow, hither to only appearing in armoured ships. They were also the heaviest of this rate ever officially termed sloops in the navy. In design they were the smaller antecedents of the ram-bowed Eclipse class corvettes (1867/70). In design, the Amazon class had the same beam as the Eclipse corvettes, an identical form of timber construction, with iron cross beams, and the same general internal arrangements for berthing, bunkering and stores - on a length of 7.6m less than even the smaller corvettes. A five to one ratio of length to beam was adopted as an acceptable proportion for sloops. This class was characterized by the very full beam towards both ends of the ship and their fine-lined extremities. With timber in short supply, the dockyards were forced to use different kinds of timber to build these ships. Amazon and Vestal were of teak, while Niobe and Nymphe had frames in English oak, with teak cladding, and Daphne had English oak frames and Italian oak planking. Dryad was constructed half English and half Italian oak frames, with teak planking, and Niobe and Nymphe had decks made of fir.     The 178mm guns were slide-mounted, pivoted to the ship's centreline to enable them to be traversed to fire from either side. The two 64pdrs were truck-mounted, one on each side.If stern fire were required, there were ports under the poop to which one of the broadside guns could be moved. They were far better steamships than their predecessors. Amazon, Daphne and Niobe logged 12kts on trials. The class, rigged as barques, marked the final change in rig, sloops hitherto being a mixture of barque- and ship-rig. The ships had fixed screws of 4.5m diameter, and the best that they could do under canvas was 11kts. They were the last class of all wooden-hulled sloops to be built.


1871, all: + 1 x 1 - 160/16 64pdr 64cwt MLR

early 1870s, Dryad, Nymphe, Vestal: were armed with 9 x 1 - 160/16 64pdr 64cwt MLR

Naval service

Amazon was sunk in a collision with collier Osprey in the English Channel on 10.7.1866. Niobe was wrecked off Cape Blanc (Miquelon Island) 21.5.1874.