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Page history last edited by ManuBlasco 14 years, 4 months ago



British Rating Systems



The concept of rating a ship was originated in the 17th century, after the galleons Era.

Warships were divided according to the number of guns carried into classes or rates.

The rating system was changing with the years and nations, acording to navies and duties.

A 60 guns ship in the 1720's was considered a "ship of the line" but after the 1760's had not enough firepower to stand in the line of battle.

There were six "universal" main rates, slightly different depending of the ship's nationallity.

Per example, a french 80 was considered a 2nd rate ship, because of his heavy guns, almost equal to a british 98.

Also, duties of ships were assigned upon his rate (guns, ship size, speed and depth).

We are going to use mostly these six main rates to classify ships.


First (1st) Rate Ships

Guns: 100-120
Decks: 3 - lower, middle & upper; castle and foreclaste
Class: Ship of the line
Avg. Speed: 4-5 knots
Crew/Complement: 850-1,200 men
Tonnage: 2,500-4,500 tons
Trees needed: 6,000
Duties: Flagships and fight in the line


Second (2nd) Rate Ships

Guns: 90-98
Decks: 3 - lower, middle, upper; and castle
Class: Ship of the line
Avg. Speed: 6-7 knots
Crew/Complement: 700-850 men
Tonnage: 2,500-3,500 tons
Trees needed: 4,000
Duties: Flagships and fight in the line


Third (3rd) Rate Ships

Guns: 64-84
Decks: 2 - lower, upper, castle and foreclaste
Class: Ship of the line
Avg. Speed: 7-8 knots
Crew/Complement: 500-700 men
Tonnage: 1,500-2,200 tons
Trees needed: 3,000
Duties: Fight in the line


Fourth (4th) Rate Ships

Guns: 44-60
Decks: 2 - lower, upper and castle
Class: Ship
Avg. Speed: 8-9 knots
Crew/Complement: 350-450 men
Tonnage: 900-1,200 tons
Trees needed: 2,400
Duties: Escort, transport and shallow water missions


Fith (5th) Rate Ships

Guns: 32-44
Decks: 1 - main and castle
Class: Frigate
Avg. Speed: 12-14 knots
Crew/Complement: 200-350 men
Tonnage: 750-900 tons
Trees needed: 1,600
Duties: Scouting, transport, escort and anti-piracy


Sixth (6th) Rate Ships

Guns: 20-30
Decks: 1 - main
Class: Corvette
Avg. Speed: 12-14 knots
Crew/Complement: 150-200 men
Tonnage: 500-700 tons
Trees needed: 1,250
Duties: Scouting, customs and reconnaisssance.


Graphics are copyright of Juan Garcia from www.todoababor.es and had been published here under his authorization.


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