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Swallow-class sloop
Class overview
Name: Swallow-class sloop
Preceded by: Cruizer class
Succeeded by: Racer class
Built: 1854 - 1857
In commission: 1856 - 1876
Completed: 4
Scrapped: 4
General characteristics
Displacement: 625 tons
Tons burthen: 484 68/94 bm
Length: 139 ft (42.4 m) (gundeck)
120 ft 6 in (36.7 m) (keel)
Beam: 27 ft 10 in (8.5 m)
Depth of hold: 13 ft 5 in (4.1 m)
Installed power: 60 nhp
182–224 ihp (136–167 kW)
Propulsion: Single screw
2-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine
Sail plan: Barque rig
Speed: Approximately 7 knots (13 km/h)
Complement: 120
Armament: 1 × 32-pdr gun (58cwt) on pivot
8 × 32-pdr (25cwt) carronades

The Swallow-class sloop was an 9-gun wooden screw sloop class of four ships built for the Royal Navy between 1854 and 1857.


Built of a traditional wooden construction, the Swallow class were intended as "type of screw vessel below the Cruizer".[1]

The class were armed with a single 32-pounder gun (58cwt) gun on a pivot mount and eight 32-pounder (25cwt) carronades on the broadside. These guns were all smoothbore muzzle-loading, and were little changed from the standard guns of Nelson's era.[1]

Propulsion was provided by a two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine developing 60 nominal horsepower and an indicated horsepower of between 182 indicated horsepower (136 kW) and 224 indicated horsepower (167 kW). Propulsion was applied through a single screw and at maximum power under steam, top speed was about 7 knots (13 km/h). A barque rig of sails was carried, which meant the ships of the class had three masts with a square rig on the fore and main masts.[1]


The first two ships were ordered on 5 July 1852, Ariel on 2 April 1853 and Lyra on 3 April 1854.[1]

NameShip Builder[1]Laid down[1]Launched[1]Fate[1]
CurlewDeptford Dockyard19 October 185231 May 1854Sold for breaking on 39 August 1865
SwallowPembroke Dockyard30 August 185312 June 1854Became a survey ship in 1861. Sold for breaking in December 1866
ArielPembroke DockyardNovember 185311 July 1854Sold for breaking 23 May 1865
LyraDeptford Dockyard8 July 185426 March 1857Broken up in 1876


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Winfield (2004) p.215 - 216


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