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US Navy Ships of the Line Questions

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  • camera12003
    First, thanks for the membership in this forum. I have a few questions regarding these ships. First question, were the USN SOL s delineated by classes like the
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 3, 2009
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      First, thanks for the membership in this forum. I have a few questions
      regarding these ships.

      First question, were the USN SOL's delineated by classes like the
      Constitution class ships were? If so which ships belonged to a class
      and what was the chronological order of the classes.

      Second question, These ships are refered to 74 gun vessels but I see
      thay were capable of carrying many more guns than their "rate". So, was
      the term used as a general type term or was that considered a minimum
      of canon for these vessels as designed?

      Third question, the Pennsylvania had three gun decks, most of the
      other SOL's had two. Was the Pennsy the largest USN SOL built or did
      she have sister ships also?

      Thanks for any replies.
      Cheers,
      Jon
    • PC Coker
      Hi Jon,     I am not an expert on the American SOLs but have done a lot of reading, research, and built 3 models of the Delaware.     They were divided
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 4, 2009
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        Hi Jon,
            I am not an expert on the American SOLs but have done a lot of reading, research, and built 3 models of the Delaware.
            They were divided into classes of sorts. First was the Continental America, then some design work was done in the late 1790s for a 74 that was not built. During the War of 1812 the Washington, Franklin, and Independence were built and were considered sisters with mostly minor variations. They were true 74s but were not considered successful as they were poor sailers and in general not up to snuff for the weight of the guns they carried so Franklin and Indepence were cut down to large frigates and lasted well past the Civil War. I am not sure about Washington.
            Next came the Columbus which was considered by some the prototype for the  North Carolina class but slightly smaller. Her lower guns when fully loaded were barely three feet above the water in places. Following her was the North Carolina, cosidered at the time of her first Med deployment in 1824 to be the finest warship in the world. She and Delaware were sisters as was Ohio but the latter had some minor differences. Vermont and New Hampshire were also sisters but completed during the 1840s when the ship type was definitely obsolete. At the very least they should have been given steam power like their foreign contemporaries.
           Last came the lumbering Pennsylvania with three gun decks and the largest sailing warship built for the US. As far as I know she only went to sea once sailing from Philadelphia where she was built to Norfolk where she spent most of her life. She was too expensive to operate in peace time and pretty much a waste of money.
            The rating of these ships is full of conflicting opinions. Some say that a rate was determined by the number of covered guns so that carronades on the spar deck were not included. Others say that it was the dimensions that determined the rate. I know that the North Carolinas were really 80+ gun ships and equivalent to many British three deckers. But over the course of time, a ship type tends to grow in size so that a Revolutionary War 74 would be dwarfed by at post-War of 1812 74. For the most part I would just accept the rating as given and leave it at that as it is pretty much like comparing a World War II destroyer to a contemporary one---difficult to keep in perspective.
            Most of this information is in the links and files section of the web site. There is also a lot of information and plans in Chapelle's History of the American Sailing Navy. There are bits and pieces on the internet, most of which I have added to the links section. If you know of any others, please add them as well as illustrations.
            Hope this helps and that you will add some information to the group.
         
                                                  PC Coker
                                                   Moderator


         
        First, thanks for the membership in this forum. I have a few questions
        regarding these ships.

        First question, were the USN SOL's delineated by classes like the
        Constitution class ships were? If so which ships belonged to a class
        and what was the chronological order of the classes.

        Second question, These ships are refered to 74 gun vessels but I see
        thay were capable of carrying many more guns than their "rate". So, was
        the term used as a general type term or was that considered a minimum
        of canon for these vessels as designed?

        Third question, the Pennsylvania had three gun decks, most of the
        other SOL's had two. Was the Pennsy the largest USN SOL built or did
        she have sister ships also?

        Thanks for any replies.
        Cheers,
        Jon


      • james.friedman33@comcast.net
        PC A good example of the ratings and actual numbered of guns carried not being the same would be the Constitution class 44 Gun Frigates. Rated at 44 they
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 4, 2009
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          PC
           
          A good example of the ratings and actual numbered of guns carried not being the same would be the Constitution class 44 Gun Frigates. Rated at 44 they routinely carried 50+ with the Constitution carring 54 during the war of 1812.
           
          Regards & Happy New Year,
          James Friedman
          Goose Creek
           
           
          -------------- Original message --------------
          From: PC Coker <cokerre@...>

          Hi Jon,
              I am not an expert on the American SOLs but have done a lot of reading, research, and built 3 models of the Delaware.
              They were divided into classes of sorts. First was the Continental America, then some design work was done in the late 1790s for a 74 that was not built. During the War of 1812 the Washington, Franklin, and Independence were built and were considered sisters with mostly minor variations. They were true 74s but were not considered successful as they were poor sailers and in general not up to snuff for the weight of the guns they carried so Franklin and Indepence were cut down to large frigates and lasted well past the Civil War. I am not sure about Washington.
              Next came the Columbus which was considered by some the prototype for the  North Carolina class but slightly smaller. Her lower guns when fully loaded were barely three feet above the water in places. Following her was the North Carolina, cosidered at the time of her first Med deployment in 1824 to be the finest warship in the world. She and Delaware were sisters as was Ohio but the latter had some minor differences. Vermont and New Hampshire were also sisters but completed during the 1840s when the ship type was definitely obsolete. At the very least they should have been given steam power like their foreign contemporaries.
             Last came the lumbering Pennsylvania with three gun decks and the largest sailing warship built for the US. As far as I know she only went to sea once sailing from Philadelphia where she was built to Norfolk where she spent most of her life. She was too expensive to operate in peace time and pretty much a waste of money.
              The rating of these ships is full of conflicting opinions. Some say that a rate was determined by the number of covered guns so that carronades on the spar deck were not included. Others say that it was the dimensions that determined the rate. I know that the North Carolinas were really 80+ gun ships and equivalent to many British three deckers. But over the course of time, a ship type tends to grow in size so that a Revolutionary War 74 would be dwarfed by at post-War of 1812 74. For the most part I would just accept the rating as given and leave it at that as it is pretty much like comparing a World War II destroyer to a contemporary one---difficult to keep in perspective.
              Most of this information is in the links and files section of the web site. There is also a lot of information and plans in Chapelle's History of the American Sailing Navy. There are bits and pieces on the internet, most of which I have added to the links section. If you know of any others, please add them as well as illustrations.
              Hope this helps and that you will add some information to the group.
           
                                                    PC Coker
                                                     Moderator


           
          First, thanks for the membership in this forum. I have a few questions
          regarding these ships.

          First question, were the USN SOL's delineated by classes like the
          Constitution class ships were? If so which ships belonged to a class
          and what was the chronological order of the classes.

          Second question, These ships are refered to 74 gun vessels but I see
          thay were capable of carrying many more guns than their "rate". So, was
          the term used as a general type term or was that considered a minimum
          of canon for these vessels as designed?

          Third question, the Pennsylvania had three gun decks, most of the
          other SOL's had two. Was the Pennsy the largest USN SOL built or did
          she have sister ships also?

          Thanks for any replies.
          Cheers,
          Jon


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