India : Unsung Maritime History Part IV

Bombay Dockyards crowned jewel, Hms Trincomalee’s keel was laid in April 1816. She floated out of Bombay dock on 12th Oct 1817. Commisioned on 15th oct 1818. The ship belonged to a class of 38-gun Fifth Rates which were the Royal Navy’s standard frigate type for the whole of the Napoleonic Wars. Soon after her first voyage, she was stripped off and put as a reserve. After 25 yrs she was commissioned again but by then ships had changed much and had outgrown her. She was no more a front-line warship. But her hull was in fine form and available for years of service.It had a hugely important role for the British Empire at a time when there were difficulties powering steamships (due to lack of unavailability of coal in certain regions).


Gun Deck HMS Trincomalee,

Over the years she has played its part efficiently in various roles ranging from Frontline attack vessel to fisheries protection ship. From floating hospital to serving as a training ship to be used as store ships.

After long service, in 1990 restoration work began. While restoration it was discovered that the teak hull was in fine condition even after 200 years of service. After a complete restoration, she retained about 60% of her original hull, which is a testimony in itself of the workmanship of the Bombay Dockyard.

She is the oldest warship afloat anywhere in Europe, berthed at Jackson Dock, within The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, United Kingdom. She is also the second oldest warship afloat in the world.

HMS Trincomalee, Source:



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