Ship Type Menu.
Small colonial paddle avisos (30-40 nhp)

SERPENT class (30 nhp, launched 1843)
SERPENT class (30 nhp, launched 1852-54)
GRAND BASSAM class (40 nhp, launched 1852-53)

SERPENT class colonial paddle avisos

Displacement: c100t
Dimensions:131ft 3in wl?, 137ft 10in deck x 16ft 5in
Same, meters:40.00, 42.00 x 5.00m
Machinery:30nhp (Cavé). Oscillating cylinders
Hull material:Iron

Name          Builder    Launched Fate         
SERPENTCavé3.11.43Stk. 11.1.53
BASILICCavé3.11.43Stk. 31.12.54

In 1842 Senegal indicated that it needed, in addition to one or two steamers in the 60-80nhp range, two small iron steamers for use in the small tributaries of the Senegal River. These two ships were built on standard river boat plans with flat bottoms (their proposed draft was 18 inches) and were sent out together to Senegal on 23.7.44. Serpent and Basilic wore out and were decommissioned in Senegal 14.9.51 and 1.8.53 respectively. Their hulls were converted to horse transports in 1853 and survived as such to 1865. Their engines were returned to France for installation in new hulls with the same dimensions and names.

SERPENT class colonial paddle avisos

Displacement: 161t
Dimensions:132ft 7in wl, 138ft 9in deck x 16ft 5in x 3ft 7in
Same, meters:40.40, 42.30 x 5.00 x 1.10m
Machinery:30nhp (Cavé)
Hull material:Iron
Armament:2-12cm No.2 shell

Name          Builder    Launched Fate         
SERPENTCavé20.1.52Stk. 18.11.63
BASILICCherbourg26.9.54Stk. 3.6.73

These ships were built to replace the old Serpent and Basilic in Senegal. They used the engines of their predecessors with new boilers, and their hulls were built on the same plans slightly modified.

GRAND BASSAM class colonial paddle avisos

Displacement: 206t
Dimensions:112ft 8in x 18ft 9in x 6ft 3in
Same, meters:34.35 x 5.72 x 1.91m
Machinery:40nhp (Rochefort). Direct, 6.70kts
Hull material:Wood

Name          Builder    Launched Fate         
GRAND BASSAMRochefort1.7.52Stk. 16.3.68
EBRIERochefort10.10.53Lost 15.4.56

These ships were built to support the French posts in the Ivory Coast. Grand Bassam was BU 1868, and Ebrié was lost in the Akba River after only 16 months in commission.

Copyright © Stephen S. Roberts 2004-2015.