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HMS Rattler (1783)

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Name  HMS Rattler
Laid down  March 1782
Construction started  March 1782
Ordered  28 December 1781
Commissioned  April 1784
Launched  22 March 1783
Builder  Francis S. Willson, Sandgate
Completed  By 21 July 1783 at Chatham

HMS Rattler was a 16-gun Echo-class sloop of the Royal Navy. Launched in March 1783, she saw service in the Leeward Islands and Nova Scotia before being paid off in 1792 and sold to whaling company Samuel Enderby & Sons.



Rattler was one of six Echo-class sloops constructed in the early 1780s, principally for service in the imperial colonies. She was ordered in December 1781, to be constructed at Sandgate by shipwright Francis C. Willson, and launched on 22 March 1783. Her dimensions were in keeping with other vessels of her class, with an overall length of 101 ft 4 in (30.9 m), a beam of 12 ft 10 in (3.9 m) and 341 48/94 tonnes burthen. Capable of carrying 22 guns, she was fitted with 20 at her construction and designated a crew of 125.

Construction costs were £7,211, comprising £3,572 in builder's fees, £3,182 for fittings and £457 in dockyard expenses.

The Rattler was built to the same technical drawings as the five other Echo Class ships, namely 'Brisk' (1784), 'Calypso' (1783), 'Echo' (1782), 'Nautilus' (1784), and Scorpion' (1785).

The class was designed to be 16-gun ship sloops with quarterdecks and forecastles.

All the Echo class use the same plans for frame, inboard profile, lines, stern, and upper and lower decks

Caribbean service

Rattler was commissioned in April 1783 for service in the British Leeward Islands under Commander Wilfred Collingwood, assisting in enforcement of Great Britain's Navigation Acts against American trading vessels. On arrival in the Caribbean, Rattler joined the British fleet under the command of Captain Horatio Nelson, and including HMS Mediator which was captained by Wilfred Collingwood's brother Cuthbert.

In 1787 she was laid up to remove her copper bottom and replace it with wooden sheathing, despite the weaker protection this offered against infestation by shipworm. While the ship was being refitted Commander Collingwood was taken ill, and died en route to a Grenada hospital on 21 April 1787. Rattler returned to sea later in April under Lieutenant James Wallis. After six months service she was paid off from Caribbean service and returned to Britain for further refit and repair.


HMS Rattler (1783) Wikipedia

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