H.M. Brigantine Dispatch, 1692-1712
The Dispatch one of nine brigantines built for the Navy between 1691 and 1695 was of 77 tons, 63ft. 3ins. Length, 16ft 7ins. beam with 35 men. Armament consisted of six small guns, (probably 4pdrs.) and two swivels; enough to take on small privateers. Auxiliary power was provided by up to 30 oars. From the Captain’s Journals the author extracts without doubt that, for the rig, Dispatch had a “buss mast” mainmast without a boom mainsail, a “wingsail” for storm use, a “flying jib” and boom, a main “staysail” and other small sails. He is less conclusive that the foremast was square rigged. These brigantines were not successful. Under oars or sail they were slow, especially under sail on a wind.