British Battleships of 1870 Part XI The Zealous and Repulse
Seven wooden capital ships were originally laid down as unarmoured two deckers for the Royal Navy but with advances in naval architecture they were considered, during their construction, obsolete by the Admiralty. Two of the class, the Zealous and Repulse were at an advanced stage of construction when the decision was made and therefore it was too expensive to alter them significantly, apart from adding armour. They remained the two shortest armoured battleships ever built for British Service, and the last to be built from wood. The Zealous, laid down in Pembroke in 1859, of length 252 ft., beam 58 ft. and displacement 6100 tons was the only battleship with 7inch guns throughout. A good sea boat and steady gun platform she was fully rigged and also fitted with 800 HP Maudslay engines and boilers capable of achieving 11 ¾ knots. She served extensively in the Pacific and finally paid off in Portsmouth in 1875.