Phoenix class sloop

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HMS Algerine in 1904
HMS Algerine
Class overview
Name:Phoenix-class sloops
Operators: Royal Navy
United Kingdom Royal Canadian Navy
In commission:1895–1919
General characteristics
Type: Screw Steel Sloop
Displacement: 1050 tons[1]
Length: 185 ft (56 m) pp
210 ft 6 in (64.16 m)oa[2]
Beam: 32 ft 6 in (9.91 m)[2]
Draught: 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m)[2]
Installed power: 1,400 horsepower (1,044 kW)[2]
  • Three-cylinder vertical triple-expansion steam engine
  • Twin screws
Sail plan: Barquentine Rigged
Speed: 12 kn (22 km/h)[2]
Armour: Protective deck of 1 in (2.5 cm) to 1.5 in (3.8 cm) steel over machinery and boilers

The Phoenix class was a two-ship class of 6-gun[3] screw steel sloops [3] built for the Royal Navy in 1895.


Phoenix and Algerine were constructed of steel and powered by both barquentine-rigged sails and a twin-screw steam engine developing 1,400 horsepower. They were essentially a twin-screw version of the Alert-class sloop.

Operational Lives

HMS Phoenix at anchor in the Hai River in about 1900
HMS Phoenix foundered alongside a coaling pier in Hong Kong after a typhoon in 1906

Screw sloops like Phoenix had been obsolete for many years, but they remained ideal for patrolling Britain's far flung maritime empire, and both Phoenix and Algerine were deployed to the China Station. Both ships recommissioned at Hong Kong and served in Chinese waters during the Boxer Rebellion.[1] In June 1900 Algerine was involved in an attack on the Taku Forts, including contributing to a multi-national landing party, and had 6 men wounded.[4] She also landed a 4-inch gun, and this was used in the capture of Tientsin.[5] Phoenix had the misfortune to be alongside a coaling pier in Hong Kong on 18 September 1906 when a typhoon struck the colony. She foundered and became a total loss. Algerine continued to serve, including time at Esquimalt and the West Coast of the United States.[5] In 1914 her crew was sent to man HMS Niobe, and in 1917 she was lent to the Royal Canadian Navy to serve as a depot ship at Esquimalt. She was sold in 1919 and converted to a salvage vessel.[6] In her new guise she was wrecked on 13 October 1923 in the Principe Channel, British Columbia.[7]


Name Ship Builder Launched Fate
HMS Phoenix Devonport Royal Dockyard[8] 25 April 1895 Foundered 18 September 1906 during a typhoon alongside a coaling pier in Hong Kong[1][3] Raised and sold on 7 January 1907.[2]
HMS Algerine Devonport Royal Dockyard[6] 28 December 1895 Sold 1919.[3] Wrecked 1924.[5]

See also