1829 - Launch of First Steam Warship at Portsmouth - FOX; and of RAPID & RECRUIT

17th August. The first steam Warship to be Built at Portsmouth. The 46 gun ship Fox was said to have been based on the French Leda class frigate. She was completed with machinery built by Ravenhill & Salkeed as a screw frigate but was disarmed before commissioning. She served as a stores ship from 1862 until being broken up in 1882 at Devonport.

Also launched on this day was the 10 gun brig Rapid. She was wrecked on 12th April 1838, near Cap Bon; the crew were saved but it was said the captain was drowned.

Another ship launched on this date was the 10 gun brig Recruit. Both she and the Rapid were designed by Sir. H. Peake. She became a steam packet and foundered with all hands in 1832 while on passage from Halifax to England. There were a number of variations to this class of brig or brig/sloops which were sometimes referred to as “Coffin Brigs” and represent one of the largest classes of sailing warships ever built with over a hundred vessels.