British Warships in the Age of Sail 1817-1863

Design, Construction, Careers & Fates

Rif Winfield

Date Published :
July 2014
Publisher :
Seaforth Publishing
Illustration :
200 illustrations
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848321694
Pages : 352
Dimensions : 11.5 X 9.5 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


The publication of this book sees the completion of a monumental work listing the technical details and career histories of every significant British warship between 1603 and 1863. Following three earlier volumes, this one carries forward the story from the post Napoleonic War reorganization of the Royal Navy’s rating system to the end of sail as the principal mode of propulsion.

Although apparently well documented, this is a period of great complexity in the procurement and naval architecture of ships. The introduction of steam radically altered the design of vessels under construction and was later retrofitted to others, while many ‘names’ lived a ghostly existence on the Navy List: ships ordered but not started, and in some cases having their intended drafts altered more than once before being canceled entirely.

This book meticulously sorts out and clarifies these confusions – a major contribution in itself – but for the first time it also provides outline service histories for an era that is largely neglected. Like its companion volumes, the book is organized by Rate, classification and class, with significant technical and building data, followed by a concise summary of the careers of each ship in every class.

With its unique depth of information, this is a work of the utmost importance to every naval historian and general reader interested in the navy of the sailing era and the formative years of the steam navy that supplanted it.

About The Author

Rif Winfield has worked in the shipping and computer industries, has been for many years a charity director, has operated his own retail businesses (with his wife Ann), and has been a candidate for elections to Parliament and other levels of government, including serving as an elected Councillor and being appointed to government posts in health and in local government. A life-long researcher into naval history, he lives in Mid Wales and is the author of a number of standard works on the ships of the British Navy.


"The text is very well illustrated... An absolutely splendid reference work, and an essential volume for anyone interested in the history of the Royal Navy during the first part of the period of British naval supremacy."

- History of War

More from this publisher