Exploring Evolution of U.S. Navy Ship Design

Confederacy (1778-1783)
Authorized by the Continental Congress in 1776, the Confederacy (36) was one of the most remarkable Revolutionary War frigate designs. At 160' length with a 37' beam, she was one of the largest frigates to see action, 30%-35% larger than a comparably-rated English frigate. The Confederacy was revolutionary in design. Her gun deck had a freeboard significantly higher than most frigates which allowed her guns to be served in heavy weather. Below the gun deck, the ship was fitted with sweep ports for rowing in calm weather. Her quarterdeck was fitted with a speaking tube leading to her berth deck to direct sailors in the event her wheel was shot away. Despite her size, the Confederacy was a fast sailer. She was captured off the Virginia Capes by 2 British frigates in 1781 and entered into the British navy.…

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