Ship Type Menu.
Gabarres (Transports after 1844)

PREVOYANTE class (380 ton gabarres)
PERDRIX class (600 ton gabarres, later transports)

PREVOYANTE class gabarres (380 tons)

Displacement: 428t
Dimensions:101ft 3in wl, 103ft 7in deck x 27ft 10in mld, 29ft 2in ext x 12ft 0in mean, 13ft 0in max. Depth 15ft 11in
Same, meters:30.85, 31.57 x 8.482, 8.882 x 3.66, 3.95m. 4.839m
Masts:Sail area 1130 sq.yd.
Armament:(1824) 12-18p carr., 2-6p. (1837) 10-18p carr., 2-12p. (Indienne) 14-24p carr., 2-6p. When used exclusively as transports they could carry as few as 2-12p carr. or 2-8p.

Name          Builder    Laid downLaunched Commiss. Fate         
PREVOYANTELorient11.3.336.8.3421.3.35Stk. 24.10.60
EXPEDITIVEToulon7.3313.11.349.4.35Stk. 16.11.66
RECHERCHECherbourg8.332.12.3413.4.35Stk. 2.4.63
INDIENNEToulon9.331.4.3525.4.36Stk. 22.7.56
SARCELLERochefort26.8.3323.5.387.7.38Stk. 20.4.57
ACTIVERochefort8.3318.10.381.3.39Lost 6.8.39
PRUDENTERochefort3.4218.11.421.12.42Stk. 3.10.55
INFATIGABLEBrest24.6.4226.8.431.1.45Stk. 18.8.62
(DURANCE)Brest------To 600 tons 1843
GARONNELorient------Canc. 1844
RANCERochefort------Canc. 1844
PROVIDENCEBrest------Canc. 1844

Class. This class consisted of reproductions of the highly successful 380 gabarres-écuries built before 1816 (q.v.). The plans of Indienne, Prevoyante, Expeditive, Sarcelle, Prudente, and Recherche were attributed to Pestel ("Zélée type"), while Infatigable was built to new plans (probably an update of Pestel's plans) by Boucher. Recherche, originally Pourvoyeuse, was renamed on 21.1.35 and was rated as a corvette. Active, originally Mérinos, was renamed on 24.10.38. All seven surviving units were redesignated as 14-gun corvettes in 1846. Indienne was redesignated as a 350-ton transport in 1851. By a ministerial decree of 1.55 Expeditive and Recherche were "declassés" as corvettes and inscribed in the number of transports of 380 tons. Infatigable was similarly redesignated at about the same time. The actual cargo capacity of this type, when fully armed, was less than 160 tons. For the last four ships see the "Note on Cancelled Corvettes de Charge and Gabarres" after the section on the 800-ton Meuse class, above.

Disposals. Prévoyante was used as a sheer hulk from 1860 to 1886 and Expéditive served as a harbor training hulk from 1866 to 1885. Recherche was a supply hulk at Gabon until 1867. Indienne became a hulk at Mayotte in 1856 and was sunk in the harbor at Nossi-Bé on 19.10.63. Active was wrecked in the Rio de la Plata on 6.8.39.

PERDRIX class gabarres/transports (600 tons)

Displacement: 1030t
Dimensions:134ft 10in wl, 136ft 6in deck x 33ft 2in mld, 33ft 11 in ext x 15ft 4in mean, 15ft 10in max. Depth 17ft 9in
Same, meters:41.09, 41.60 x 10.10, 10.33 x 4.67, 4.82. 5.40
Masts:Sail area 1187 sq.yd.
Armament:16-24p carr., 4-30p shell

Name          Builder    Laid downLaunched Commiss. Fate         
PERDRIXToulon9.3829.7.4018.4.42Stk. 19.8.72, hulk
PROVENCALEToulon9.3829.7.411.11.42Stk. 17.8.69
LOIREBrest6.5.3928.8.4021.11.40Lost 18.1.52
MEUSERochefort------Canc. 1844
RHONECherbourg------Canc. 12.8.44
MOSELLEBrest------Canc. 1844
DURANCEBrest------Canc. 1844
LOZEREToulon------Canc. 1844
VIGOGNEToulon------Canc. 1844

Class. On 24.8.37 the Council of Works examined plans for a 1200 ton transport. proposed by Vice Admiral Jurien de la Gravière for the transporation of troops and recommended that two 600 transports be built for each of the planned 1200 ton ships. Boucher, the senior naval constructor, preferred to use corvettes de charge for this purpose but recommended having two of the 600-ton type built at Toulon on plans by Joffre. Names were recommended for them on 13.6.38. A third ship was soon added at Brest. These were ships with a covered battery deck like the 800-ton corvettes de charge but smaller and optimized for carrying troops and cargo. For the six cancelled ships that probably were of this type see the "Note on Cancelled Corvettes de Charge and Gabarres" after the section on the 800-ton Meuse class, above.

Disposals. Perdrix served as a harbor service craft ("patache") at Toulon from 1872 to 1901. Provençale was a station hulk at Toulon from 1870 to 1892. Loire ran ashore in fog between Ste.-Marie and Goyave, Guadeloupe, in January 1852.


Name          Builder    Laid downLaunched Commiss. Fate         
925 tons (rated as transports)     
RHINOCEROSToulon7.1922.2.2114.4.27Stk. 13.11.43
DROMADAIRELe Havre181917.7.2120.3.21Stk. 13.11.43
550 tons     
VIGOGNEBayonne10. 1836
ROBUSTEBayonne9. 7.6.53
BALEINEBayonne7.2616.10.3019.5.33Stk. 1836
GIRAFEBayonne10. 8.12.64
MAHEBayonne5.3126.8.3523.9.35Stk. 1856
CHANDERNAGORBayonne16.5.3111.7.3517.10.35Stk. 21.9.70
480 tons     
CORMORANBrest27.7.4022.3.4128.4.41Stk. 22.7.72
MARSOUINBrest22.3.423.11.4225.1.43Stk. 22.12.64
450 tons     
MADAGASCARLorient10.2730. 1836
300 tons     
BAYONNAISBayonne1.1719.5.1722.7.17Stk. 1834
CHAMEAULorient18178.185.10.18Stk. 1837
GARONNEBayonne6. 1837
BUCEPHALEBayonne12.11.2923.4.3418.10.35Stk. 17.8.69
LICORNEBayonne12. 15.7.67

925-ton type. These ships were built especially to transport timbers and were classified as transports, not gabarres. They were based at Toulon and appear to have decommissioned on 20.2.32 and 16.8.31 respectively. The conflict between the reported dates on which Dromadaire was launched and commissioned (armé) is unexplained.

550-ton type. Robuste was used as a hulk at Brest after being stricken, was renamed Camaret in 1865, and was scrapped in 1867. Girafe was a hospital hulk at Toulon from 1864 to 1868. Mahé was renamed Dromadaire on 3.11.45 and was used as a hospital hulk at Mayotte from 5.10.61 until 1870. Chandernagor was a hulk at Toulon from 1875 to 1895.

480-ton type. Cormoran was built on the request of France's senior naval constructor (Inspector-General of the Génie maritime), Boucher, for a ship to transport large steam engines from the Navy's engine factory at Indret or from private factories to shipyards. Plans by Chedeville were approved for her on 4.7.40. Her first cargo was the engine of the paddle frigate Asmodée. On 10.3.42 Boucher asked for two more slightly larger ships, of which one could be built at Brest. (He hoped to acquire the other ship, although this apparently did not happen.) Cormoran and Marsouin were later rated as 500-ton transports, and Marsouin was later increased to 600 tons. Cormoran measured 36.00m x 9.40m, while Marsouin was about two meters longer. Cormoran was a hulk at Lorient until scrapped in 1875. Marsouin was used as a barracks hulk (possibly renamed Caserne) at Toulon from 1865 to 1869.

450-ton type. Madagascar was a headquarters hulk ("bâtiment amiral") at Lorient until 1856.

300-ton type. Bayonnais was designed by Marestier to carry timbers to the port of Rochefort. Her plans became the model for the design of the Vesuve class bomb vessels (see "sail mortar vessels" in the listing of "small" ship types). Bucéphale was used as a station hulk at Gabon until 1873 and Licorne was used as a coal hulk at Brest from 1876 to 1894.

Smaller types. 230 tons: Isere (1817-23); 220 tons: Etna (1816-33); 200 tons: Nantaise (1813-31), Cauchoise (1817-33), Bretonne (1817-30), Pintade (1818-71), Ménagère (1819-56), Mayenne (1821-44); 150 tons: Pourvoyeur (1840-71); 130 (later 150) tons: Vigilant (1842-52), Seudre (1842-54, acquired); and some small or highly specialized vessels classified as transports before 1844, the most interesting of which was Luxor (1830-37), built to transport to France the Egyptian obelisk that is now in the Place de la Concorde at Paris.

Copyright © Stephen S. Roberts 2009-2015.