- Letter Writer
- Ship design and development, History - pre-Federation, Letter to the Editor
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- June 1993 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
I have come across a bit of a curiosity from the past which may be of interest to some of the members.
In March 1886, Major General Sir Andrew Clarke arranged to have forwarded to the Victorian Minister for Defence a design for what he called an “Ocean Cruizer”. He argued that the value of ports built on islands was limited, and that this ship would be a better investment.
“The known presence on that coast of an Ocean Cruizer, of such a design as I am sending herewith, armed with Brennan locomotive torpedoes, and carrying one or more Submarine boats, would… obviously deter a potential enemy”.
A rather extraordinary vessel was therefore envisaged, as the Brennan torpedo was wire powered and guided, and submarines were certainly in their infancy.
The design, confidently prepared by Palmer & Co. of the Tyne, was for a “Steel Twin Screw Ram”.
The vessel was to be of 2,000 tons, 294’6″ overall and 270′ between perpendiculars, with a beam of 36′ and a mean draught of 17′. She would have a protective deck, and engines of 5,800 ihp would give her a speed of 19½ to 20 knots. No armament is specifically mentioned in the quote, but she would have a pole mast and two funnels. The cost delivered in Australia was 112,000 pounds, or less if several of the type were ordered for Victoria or the colonies.
A model of the vessel was shipped out to arrive with the correspondence.
Does anyone know anything more concerning this design, its origin and what Major Sargood said, and in particular, has anyone ever heard of the fate of the model?