Varakhail (54)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> Russian Navy >> Varakhail (54)

Origin and History

The ship was built by I. V. James (И. В. Ямес) at the Solombalskaya dockyard in Archangelsk. Her keel was laid down on June 15 1751 (June 4 old style, abbreviated O.S. in this article). She was launched on May 11 1752 (April 30 O.S.). She was attached to the Fleet of the Baltic Sea.

During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:

  • in 1756: Captain D. I. Vilison (Д. И. Вилисон)
  • in 1757: Captain A. I. Sekerin (А. И. Секерин)
  • in 1758 and 1759: Captain I. A. Kolyshkin (И.А. Колышкин)
  • in 1760: Captain F. Pivov (Ф. Пивов)
  • in 1761 and 1762: Captain I. M. Spiridov (И. М. Спиридов)

The ship was broken up in 1763 in Kronshtadt.

Service during the War

In 1757, the ship was involved into blockades of the Prussian ports of Danzig, Memel and Pillau on two occasions:

  • from May 10 to August 28 (April 29 to August 17 O.S.) as part of a squadron under the command of Counter-Admiral V. F. Lewis (В.Ф. Люис);
  • from September 22 to November 8 (September 11 to October 28 O.S.) as part of a squadron under the command of Vice-Admiral A. I. Polyanskiy (А. И. Полянский).

On June 19 1758 (June 8 O.S.), the ship left Revel with the squadron of Vice-Admiral A. I. Polyanskiy to cruise the Baltic. From July 20 to September 10 (from July 9 to August 29 O.S.), it was part of the Russo-Swedish fleet who blockaded the Øresund to prevent the British Navy from entering into the Baltic Sea. On October 5 (September 24 O.S.), she came back to Revel.

From April to June 1759, the ship escorted cargo vessels from Riga to Pillau. She then joined the fleet near Eland Island to cruise along the Prussian coasts. From September to November, the ship was part of a squadron who transported troops from Revel to Danzig.

From August 14 to 26 1760 (August 3 to 15 O.S.), the ship was part of the fleet sent to take part in the Siege of Colberg. From August 28 to September 19 (August 17 to September 8 O.S.), she was involved in the bombardment of the fortress. From September 21 to 29 (September 10 to 18 O.S.), the ship transported troops from Colberg trough Revel to Kronshtadt.

In 1761, the ship was part of the fleet who sailed from Kronshtadt on June 24 (June 13 O.S.) with troops aboard. On July 30 (July 19 O.S.), she landed troops near Cape Rügenwalde and, on August 24 (August 13 O.S.), sailed with the rest of the fleet to take part in the Siege of Colberg. On August 25 (August 14 O.S.), the ship bombarded the fortress and then sailed along the coast, shelling the batteries of the coastal fortifications (2 sailors were killed in this action). On September 5 (August 25 O.S.), her guns supported Russian troops assaulting the fortress. On November 4 (October 24 O.S.), she came back to Revel.

In April 1762, the ship escorted cargo vessels from Revel to Kronshtadt.


Sketch of a typical 54-gun ship according to the Shipbuilding Regulations – Source: Collection of Roman Shlygin

The design of most Russian ships of the line of this period still adhered tightly to the Shipbuilding Regulations issued by Peter the Great in 1723.

Technical specifications
Guns 54
Lower gun deck 22 x 18-pdrs (Russian pounds)
Upper gun deck 24 x 12-pdrs (Russian pounds)
Quarterdeck and Forecastle 8 x 6-pdrs (Russian pounds)
Crew no information found
Length at keel 34.75 m (114')
Length at gun deck 43.59 m (143')
Width 11.58 m (38')
Depth in Hold 5.05 m (16' 7”)
Displacement no information found


Main Sources

Ministry of the Sea - Material for the History of the Russian Navy, vol 10, St. Petersburg, 1883 in a collection of 17 volumes published from 1865 to 1904

Veselago, Fedosey Fedorovich: List of Russian Naval Vessels from 1668 to 1869, St. Petersburg: Ministry of the Sea, 1872

Other Sources

Shirokorad, A. B.: 200 лет парусного флота (200 Years of Sailing Fleet)


Roman Shlygin for the initial version of this article