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CAPTAIN turret ship (1870)


Ships


Name

No

Yard No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Captain     Laird Brothers, Birkenhead 30/1/1867 27/3/1869 1/1870 foundered 7/9/1870


Technical data


Displacement normal, t

7767

Displacement full, t 
Length, m

97.5 pp

Breadth, m

16.2

Draught, m

7.77

No of shafts

2

Machinery

sails + 2 2-cyl HSE, trunk, 8 rectangular boilers

Power, h. p.

5400

Max speed, kts

14.3

Fuel, t

coal 600

Endurance, nm(kts) 
Armour, mmiron; belt: 203-102, turrets: 254-229, CT: 178
Armament

2 x 2 - 305/12 MLR Mk II, 2 x 1 - 178/16 MLR Mk III

Complement

500



Ship project history Coles was very critical of Monarch and with the assistance of public opinion gained Admiralty consent to construct a turret ship to his own specification. The design was entrusted to Lairds, with Coles providing outline require


Coles was very critical of Monarch and with the assistance of public opinion gained Admiralty consent to construct a turret ship to his own specification. The design was entrusted to Lairds, with Coles providing outline requirements and technical advice. The ship was similar to Monarch but with turrets one deck lower and further араrt. She had a large forecastle and poop - reluctantly accepted by Coles as required in a seagoing ship - connected by a flying deck. The rigging was kept clear of the turrets by employing the flying deck to work the sails and adopting tripod masts to dispose of most of the standing rigging. Two 178mm MLRs were mounted in unprotected positions on the forecastle and poop.     Twin screws gave her good manoeuvrability, this being almost the only respect in which she was superior to Monarch. She was ship-rigged, with 2400m² sail area.     Captain was designed as a 6960t vessel with an 2.6m freeboard, but because of additions and lack of attention to material weights during construction she was 800t overweight with her freeboard reduced to 2m. Some concern was expressed by both the builders and the Admiralty about her level of stability, and calculations and an inclining experiment, showed she would be unsafe beyond an angle of heel of 21°. However, this did not create any great concern for the ship's safety.     Trials were very successful and appeared to confound her detractors, the most important of whom was Reed. Ship protection: The belt armour was 178mm amidships, increasing to 203mm abreast the turrets and reducing to 102mm forward and aft. The turrets had 229mm walls and 254mm faces.

Modernizations


None.

Naval service


On the night of 6/7 December 1870 Captain was at sea with the Channel Fleet, in a severe gale, carrying double-reefed topsails and a fore topmast staysail. At 12.15 the wind suddenly increased in strength causing her to heel beyond her safe limit and capsize. Only 17 of her crew survived, 472, including Captain Coles, being lost with the ship. Her loss was subsequently attributed to her low level of stability.