Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The Ship of the Line
In the 18th century, the most powerful ship in most fleets was the ship of the line. They fought huge battles like Trafalgar and Cape st. Vincent. They were First Rates, of 100 guns or more, Second Rates, of 80 to 98 guns, and Third Rates, usually carrying 74 guns. The Spanish owned a warship of around 144 guns, the Santissima Trinidad, which was sunk at Trafalgar. The usual ship in the British fleet was the Third Rate. Only one example survives in full to this day, and that is the HMS Victory. She is a museum in Portsmouth.