Rating Ships

Rating Ships: To simplify administration of the Royal Navy, all warships were assigned a “rating.” This rating, based on the number and weight of her guns, was used to decide the size of crew and thus the cost of running her in terms of pay and rations. There were 6 ratings: 1st Rates mounted between 100 and 120 guns on 3 gun decks with a crew of 850 to 875 men. 6th rates mounted 20 to 28 guns on one gun deck, and had a crew of between 140 to 200 men. Frigates were 5th or 6th rated ships, with the former having between 32 and 44 guns on one or two decks and a crew of 200 to 300 men. Hence Impérieuse was a 5th rate ship. Ships-of-the-line were by definition any rating from 4 to 1 inclusive, and were so called because they sailed into attack in a line, one behind the other, or alongside each other, before splitting up and attacking their individual targets.

For more on ship ratings, please click here.

First Comment

  1. This was really helpful! I wish I’d known this while I was reading the book 🙂

    Posted July 20, 2008 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

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