Saturday, April 18, 2009


Old Brassey's have tables of ship data that include the range at 10 knots with a full coal bunker. I was amazed to see that the old broadside British ironclads from the 1860's had short ranges. The Warrior had a nominal range of just 1210 nautical miles. Clearly, the ships must have had a way to extend their range to cross the Atlantic. The either sailed in company with colliers and were able to transfer coal at sea or else would overload the ships with coal. The turret ship Neptune, purchased in 1878, only had a range 0f 1480 nautical miles. The ship had been built for Brazil, so that would account for the lack of range, but it made for a ship that had limited uses for the Royal Navy.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The steam frigate Minnesota

The steam frigate USS Minnesota (1855) was a 4,833 ton unarmoured cruiser. Since large cruisers were called frigates at the time of her construction and early service, she was dubbed a steam frigate. Sailing frigates might be called that or just frigates. The steam powered ships had the "steam" prefix before their type name. The Minnesota was a 9-1/4 knot ship, although one source rates her at 12 knots. Her armament was 2-10in MLSB, 28-9in MLSB, and 14-8in MLSB. She served in the American Civil War and was present during the combat in 1862 with the Confederate ram CSS Virginia (formerly, the USS Merrimack, another steam frigate).