The Blue Launch - HMS on the water

HMS has, over a period of about 8 years, constructed its own replica 'cutter' or frigate's launch which can be equipped with its own, fully operational replica 12 pdr Carronade with 2 swivel guns mounted on posts.

Working to drawings prepared from actual C18th boat plans held at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, London, all of the construction work on the vessel was undertaken by members of HMS.

The project was phased, with the first being the achievement of a rowed, or 'pulled' boat for use at events such IFOS 2005 and at Lincoln Marina - where the Carronade cannon was fired on the launch for the first time

The second phase was to up-rate the 12-oar launch to a gaff-rigged sailing launch, or cutter, and this is now complete.

The cutter is a working boat, designed for transport (including a company of Royal Marines, or soldiers), transfer of crews, provisions - including beer and water barrels.

Several HMS members are qualified and experienced sailors, but there are roles for all - principally pulling and crewing.

One of the tasks for such a vessel was that of 'kedging' where a kedge anchor would be rowed ahead, dropped and for the ship to be then drawn - or warped - ahead by winding the capstan. HMS is considering the installation of a windlass to recreate this process.


Length: 23'

Beam: 8'

Mast: 20'

Rig: Gaff-rigged

Capacity: (up to) 12 oar positions + 12 men

Armament: 12pdr Carronade, 2 x swivel gun positions + Royal Marine / Rating Muskets

'The Blue Launch' is transported to events on HMS' own boat trailer and requires a slipway, reasonably close by, for events. If you are interested in an event involving HMS and the Blue Launch, please follow this link.

Setting off to take part in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, June 3rd 2012

The Gallery page on this site contains various photographs and videos of the Blue Launch in action

HMS Video Channel