fighting ships of the world



KAI CHI composite cruisers (1884-1888)

Huan T'ai 1900

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
開濟 <Kai Che>   Foochow Arsenal late 1881 1883 1/1884 sunk 22/6/1902
靖清 <King Ch'ing>   Foochow Arsenal 4/1/1884 17/1/1886 11/8/1886 TS 1896, stricken 1920
寰泰 <Huan T'ai>   Foochow Arsenal 12/1/1884 3/11/1886 2/1888 lost 17/8/1902


Displacement normal, t

Kai Che: 2150

Huan T'ai, King Ch'ing: 2100

Displacement full, t


Length, m

Kai Che: 76.9 wl

Huan T'ai, King Ch'ing: 76.2 wl

Breadth, m


Draught, m

Kai Che: 5.64

Huan T'ai, King Ch'ing: 5.49

No of shafts



Kai Che: HC, 8 cylindrical boilers

King Ch'ing, Huan T'ai: HTE, 8 cylindrical boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts

Kai Che: 14.5

Huan T'ai, King Ch'ing: 15 - 17

Fuel, t

coal 360

Endurance, nm(kts)


Armour, mm

steel: probably armoured casemates


Kai Che: 2 x 1 - 209/20 RK L/22 C/72, 7 x 1 - 120/32 RK L/35 C/80, 6 x 4 - 25/42 Nordenfelt

King Ch'ing, Huan T'ai: 3 x 1 - 178/26 Armstrong BLR, 7 x 1 - 121/22 Armstrong 40pdr 1.32-ton BLR, 2 - 356 TT (beam)



Ship project history: Composite-hulled, barque-rigged unprotected cruisers, built for the Nanyang fleet. They had a ram bow, a raised forecastle and poop, and one funnel. Kai Che mounted 209mm 10t Krupp BL guns in sponsons ahead of the funnel, with four 120mm Krupp BLs on the broadside amidships, two in sponsons aft and one on the poop. King Ch'ing and Huan Tai mounted two 178mm Armstrong BL guns in the forward sponsons and one on the poop. Their 120mm 40pdr Armstrong BL guns were mounted four on the broadside amidships, two in the aft sponsons and one in the bow under the forecastle. They also had two 356mm Whitehead TT on the broadside amidships.

Ship protection: Guns presumably had casemate-shaped protection

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: Kai Che 22/6/1902 accidentally blew up at Nanking and was a total loss. Huan Tai was lost 17/8/1902 in a collision with the Canadian Pacific liner Empress of India off Hong Kong.

Huan T'ai 1888

Ivan Gogin, 2014