The East Coast Fleet - Brigs
Colonial Navy Inc. plans to build up to 16 full-sized copies of historic American and Canadian square-rigged ships of the period 1607 to 1780. Each will be licensed to carry 12 paying trainees in double cabins. The ships will be operated along the East Coast, the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, and the Great Lakes, depending upon the seasons and the weather. These ships will be identical below the waterline, and will differ in details, trim, color-schemes, and rigs. They will measure 65 feet long on deck and 20 feet beam. They will normally be sailed in small fleets of from four to six at a time, allowing for inter-vessel competitions afloat and ashore, as well as cooperation between the ships. The office to run the East Coast ships will probably be in Portsmouth, Virginia.
To learn more, click on any ship name. To see a larger drawing of any ship, click on it's image.
14-gun Rhode Island Navy Brig TARTAR
14-gun Quebec Navy Brig L’IROQUOISE
14-gun Continental Navy Brig CABOT
14-gun Continental Navy Brig ANDREW DORIA
Although only one eye-witness painting survives of the Continental Brig Andrew Doria (third vessel of the Continental Navy) and that is an interior view of the Great Cabin, yet there is a strong possibility that she and Fair American were sister-ships; she could easily have been built in Bermuda. Andrew Doria (named after the Genoese Admiral Andrea Doria, 1466-1560, who won Genoa’s independence from France) became the first vessel of the American Navy to be saluted by a foreign government entity, when she was saluted on 16 November 1776 by the Dutch fort at Sint Eustatius (Statia) in the Caribbean; she flew the Grand Union Ensign, which had the British Union in the canton and some arrangement of stripes in the fly (probably red, white & blue stripes). This was taken by Americans to mean the first recognition by a foreign government of the American flag and American independence, but the Dutch quickly claimed it had been a mistake. Formerly the merchant brig Defiance, she was first commanded in the Navy by Captain Nicholas Biddle (a former mess-mate of Horatio Nelson), and later by Captain Isaiah Robinson. She was sunk to avoid capture by the British in the Delaware late in November 1777. Either of these two brigs would work well for Colonial Navy.
14-gun Continental Army Felucca Galley/Brig WASHINGTON
Washington was commanded by Brigadier General David Waterbury of Connecticut (1722-1801). She was captured by the British, who treated Waterbury well and released him quickly. They used her for a year with the same rig (and presumably replaced the cannons with all 6-pounders), but it is reported that they later converted her to a brig. The felucca rig was so dangerous and awkward that we have planned to build her as a brig. Presumably, she was eventually sunk at the end of her useful life somewhere in the northern part of Lake Champlain. After the American victory at Saratoga, naval control of Lake Champlain became mostly irrelevant anyway. Washington’s design was developed in Philadelphia, perhaps by Joshua Humphreys, and was repeated with a variety of rigs for many galleys in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and elsewhere. These galleys are reported to have been fast and weatherly; one, after capture, cruised the waters of southern New England for some time, and another made a round trip from the Chesapeake to Bermuda. Several eyewitness paintings, drawings and engravings are known of the galleys, as well as Washington’s lines plan, preserved at Britain’s National Maritime Museum.