Russian Shipbuilding Regulations

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> Russian Navy >> Russian Shipbuilding Regulations

Introduction

The development of a set of standardized shipbuilding regulations began in March 1723. Shipmasters F. Sklyaev (Ф. Скляев), G. Nye (Г. Най), R. Cosentz (Р.Козенц), R. Brown (Р. Броун), G. Ramz (Г.Рамз) and "General shipmaster Peter A. Mikhailov" (Emperor Peter I the Great himself) sent a set of ship specifications to the office of the ober-surveyor of shipbuilding. The emperor suggested to standardize classes for 96-, 80-, 70-, 64-, 54-, 42-, 32-, 26- and 16-gun vessels. After revising these classes, Peter designed the composite regulation for classes of 100-, 80-, 66-, 54- and 32-gun vessels.

On December 19 1723, Peter had a "consultation" with the shipmasters in the office of the ober-surveyor about the proportions of all ship classes. Two days later, the ober-surveyor, I.M. Golovin, signed the "Table of ship proportions" and, the same day, the document was transferred to the Admiralty Board.

On January 23 1724, copies of the "Table of ship proportions" were sent from the Admiralty Board to main shipyards.

Table of ship proportions

Note: Russian shipbuilders used British (imperial) foot = 0,3048 m

Table of ship proportions
  Ships of the line Frigates Snows
  Rates
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Construction characteristics and dimensions 100-gun 80-gun 66-gun 54-gun 32-gun 14 (16)-gun
Length at keel 148' 6” 138' 124' 6” 114' 94' 6” unspecified
Length at gun deck 178' 7” 169' 155' 6” 143' 118' unspecified
Beam 49' 6” 46' 4” 41' 6” 38' 31' 6” unspecified
Depth of hold 21' 9” 20' 7” 18' 16' 7” 14' unspecified
Length of wing-transom relatively to width of ship 2/3 2/3 2/3 - 3/5 2/3 - 3/5 2/3 - 3/5 unspecified
Deflexion of wing-transom along the ship of every feet of its length 1/5 1/5 1/5 1/5 1/5 unspecified
Width of flak (probably a dutch term) relatively to width of ship 2/5 - 3/8 2/5 - 3/8 3/8 – 1/3 1/3 1/4 unspecified
Skew of toptimbers (dutch opstoppen) relatively to width of ship (in proportion or feet) 1/8 1/8 4' 3” 1/5 3' unspecified
Frame spacing 11' 4” 11' 4” 11' 4” 11' 4” 11' 4” unspecified
Distance between the tank and the stem 4' 4' 3' 10” 3' 7” 3' unspecified
Distance between the lower edges of the gun ports and water 5' 5' 5' 4” 5' 4” - unspecified
Number of gun ports on each side on the lower gun deck 14 13 12 11 10 not applicable
Distance between the first gun port and the stern-post on the lower gun deck 9' 9' 8' 6” 8' 6” 8' not applicable
Distance between gun ports of the lower gun deck 8' 6” 8' 6” 8' 8' 8' not applicable
Calibre of guns of the lower gun deck 30-pdr 24-pdr 24-pdr 18-pdr 12-pdr not applicable
Distance between the lower edge of gun ports and the lower gun deck 2' 5” 2' 4” 2. 4” 2' 4” 2' 2” not applicable
Width of gun ports of the lower gun deck 3' 5” 3' 6” 3' 6” 3' 4” 3' not applicable
Height of gun ports of the lower gun deck 2' 10” 2' 9” 2' 9” 2' 8” 2' 6” not applicable
Distance between the lower edge of the gun ports and the middle gun deck 2' 4” 2' 3” not applicable not applicable not applicable not applicable
Width of gun ports of the middle gun deck 3' 4” 3' 2” not applicable not applicable not applicable not applicable
Height of gun ports of the middle gun deck 2' 8” 2' 7” not applicable not applicable not applicable not applicable
Calibre of guns of the upper gun deck Brass 12-pdr
or Iron 8-pdr
Brass 12-pdr
or Iron 8-pdr
Brass 12-pdr
or Iron 8-pdr
Brass 12-pdr
or Iron 8-pdr
Brass 8-pdr
or Iron 8-pdr
6-pdr
Distance between the lower edge of the gun ports and the upper gun deck 2' 2” 1' 9” 1' 9” 1' 9” not applicable 1' 6”
Width of gun ports of the upper gun deck 3' 3' 3' 2' 7” not applicable 2' 2”
Height of gun ports of the upper gun deck 2' 6” 2' 3” 2' 3” 2' 3” not applicable 2'
Calibre of guns of the quarterdeck and forcastle 6-pdr 6-pdr 6-pdr 6-pdr 6-pdr not applicable
Distance between the lower edge of the gun ports and the quarterdeck 1' 7” / 2' 1' 5” 1' 4” 1' 2” 1' 2” 1' 6”
Width of gun ports of the quarterdeck 2' 4” 2' 2” 2' 1” 2' 2' 2” not applicable
Height of gun ports of the quarterdeck 2' 2' 2' 1' 1” 2' not applicable

Even though this regulations was published in 1724, main dimensions are close to those of the British Royal Navy in its Establishment of 1745. So, despite the fact that shipbuilding mostly stagnated in Russia after the death of Peter I, ships built according to the “Table of ship proportions” could still be considered as quite modern by the time of the Seven Years' War.

These regulations were used in shipbuilding until the 1770s. Overall 87 ships of the line and frigates were designed and built according to the “Table of ship proportions”. More precisely:

  • 10 80-gun ships built between 1741 and 1766
  • 58 66-gun ships built between 1731and 1771, among them 50 were built according to the Table, others had small deviations
  • 20 54-gun ships built between 1724 1764, among them 16 were built according to the Table
  • 15 frigates built between 1724 and 1764, among them only 4 had small deviations from the Table

Ships built according to the "Table of ship proportions" were in service until the 1790s.

References

Information was taken from public sources and based on documents from the Central Archive of the Russian Navy (ЦГАВМФ)

Acknowledgement

Roman Shlygin for the initial version of this article