Saturday, June 20, 2009

What is a Sloop?

1707- Nov. 9. Where as her Majesty on the 4th of May 1702 declared war against the Kings of France and Spaine and whereas Capt. George Roach, John van Lawer and the Hurst Merchants hath equipped the sloop Resolution for a private man of war, Capt. Edmund Du Castell is commissioned Commander.

The Man-O-War is a naval ship that was designed for combat and not for merchant service. Early sloops (c.1700-1711) were single-masted, however, by 1716, all surviving sloops had been re-rigged as two-masted, and all new sloops continued to be two-masted until the 1750s, when three-masted - ship-rigged - sloops were introduced. The sloop-of-war had a single gun deck that carried anything up to eighteen cannon.


Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

I love this post and your explanation of sloops. One of my ancestors, Philippe Luce of Jersey(Channel Islands to Gaspe,Quebec)eventually settled in the Shippegan area of northern N.B. and owned fishing boats. I've actually found the listing and name of his boat but haven't had time to research exactly what boat he would have had.
I don't know if one life is enough time to track down all this information!
Evelyn in Montreal

Anonymous said...

I’m afraid some of your information seems false or confused. “Sloop” is a painfully generic term which fails to be truly informative. What’s more is you comparative image is mislabeled. In terms of men-of-war a sloop is any vessel that is not rated, number of masts or sail plan has little to do with being a sloop or not. If the vessel is not rated, in that that carries less than 20 guns and/or is command by anyone under the rank of post captain (in the royal navy) than it qualifies as a sloop. Many sloops in the service were cutter (one mast), brig, or ship rigged as well as barca longas (luggers), schooners and even polacca. In mercantile terms, "sloops” tend to refer to cutters, ketches or other similar rigs utilizing a single mast. Two masts sans a main gaff sail (fore and aft on the rear most mast, constitutes a brig or brigantine while the inclusion of that the gaff sails makes a snow or snow brig. Three masts with a large lanteen on the mizzen is a bark or barquentine, while square sails on that rearmost mast make a ship. Frigates of the 5th and 6th rate are considered ships as well as larger 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st rate ships-of-the-line. I apologize, if this seems terribly contradictory, I’m just trying to offer a favor.