Mariner class gunvessel

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HMS Racer
HMS Racer
Class overview
Name:Mariner-class gunvessels (later reclassified sloops)
Builders:Devonport Dockyard
Malta Dockyard
Milford Haven Shipbuilding Co
Operators: Royal Navy
Cost:Hull: £34,834
Machinery: £12,787
In commission:1883–1929
General characteristics
Displacement: 970 tons
Length: 167 ft (51 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draught: 14 ft (4.3 m)[1]
Installed power: 850 hp (634 kW)
Propulsion: 2-cylinder horizontal compound expansion steam engine
Single screw[1]
Sail plan: Barque-rigged, except Icarus (Barquentine-rigged)
Range: Approximately 2,100 nmi (3,900 km) at 10 kn (19 km/h)[1]
Complement: 126

The Mariner class was a class of 8-gun gunvessels (later reclassified as sloops) built for the Royal Navy between 1883 and 1888.[2]



Designed by Nathaniel Barnaby[1], the Royal Navy Director of Naval Construction, the hull was of composite construction; that is, iron keel, frames, stem and stern posts with wooden planking. The entire class were re-classified in November 1884 as sloops before they entered service.


Propulsion was provided by a 2-cylinder horizontal compound expansion steam engine of 850 hp (634 kW) driving a single screw.

Sail Plan

All the ships of the class were built as barque-rigged vessels, except Icarus, which had no main yards provided, making her a barquentine.


The class was designed and built to carry eight 5in 38cwt Breech Loading guns, one light gun and eight machine guns.[1] Melita had 40cwt guns instead of 38cwt, and Icarus had two of her guns removed.[1]


Name Ship Builder Launched Fate
HMS Mariner Devonport Dockyard 23 June 1884 Boom defence in 1903. Lent to Liverpool Salvage Association as a salvage vessel in 1917. Laid up from 1922 to 1929. Sold to Hughes Bolckow, Blyth on 19 February 1929
HMS Reindeer Devonport Dockyard 14 November 1883 Boom defence in 1904. Lent to Liverpool Salvage Association as a salvage vessel in 1917, renamed Reindeer I. Sold to Halifax Shipyard Ltd as a salvage ship on 12 July 1924. Abandoned at sea in March 1932
HMS Racer Devonport Dockyard 6 August 1884 Tender to Britannia at Dartmouth in 1896; tender to Osborne College, Cowes in February 1903. Salvage vessel in June 1917. Sold to Hughes Bolckow, Blyth on 6 November 1928
HMS Icarus Devonport Dockyard 27 July 1885 Sold on 12 April 1904
HMS Acorn Milford Haven Shipbuilding Co 6 September 1884 Sold to Harris, Bristol on 15 December 1899. Broken up at Milford Haven in 1904
HMS Melita Malta Dockyard 20 March 1888 Boom defence in May 1905. Salvage vessel in December 1915, renamed Ringdove. Sold to Falmouth Docks Board on 9 July 1920, renamed Ringdove’s Aid. Sold again in 1927 to Liverpool and Glasgow Salvage Association, renamed Restorer, and finally broken up in 1937

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Winfield, Rif; Lyon, David (2003). The Sail and Steam Navy List, 1815-1889. Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1861760326. 
  2. "Cruisers at battleships-cruisers website". Retrieved 2008-08-11.