HMS Acheron (1838)

HMS Acheron was a Hermes-class wooden paddle sloop of the Royal Navy. She was launched at Sheerness in 1838. Between 1848 and 1851 she made a coastal survey of New Zealand, the first such survey since Captain Cook. She was sold at Sydney in 1855.

Acheron in New Zealand
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Acheron
Ordered: 15 September 1837[Note 1][1]
Builder: Sheerness dockyard
Cost: £25,509[Note 2]
Laid down: October 1837[1]
Launched: 23 August 1838[1]
Commissioned: 8 January 1839[1]
Fate:
  • Survey ship, 1847
  • Sold at Sydney, 23 April 1855[1]
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Hermes-class sloop
Displacement: 1,006 tons
Tons burthen: 715 43/94 bm
Length:
  • 150 ft 0 in (45.7 m) (gundeck)
  • 128 ft 0 in (39.0 m) (keel)
Beam: 32 ft 9 in (10.0 m)
Draught:
  • 11 ft 6 in (3.5 m) (forward)
  • 12 ft 0 in (3.7 m) (aft)
Depth of hold: 18 ft 2 in (5.5 m)
Installed power: 160 nominal horsepower
Propulsion:
  • 2-cylinder side lever steam engine
  • Paddles
Sail plan: 3-masted barque rigged
Complement: 135
Armament:
  • As built:
    • 2 × 9-pounder (13 12 cwt) brass guns
  • From 1842:
    • 1 × 8-inch (52 cwt) pivot gun
    • 2 × 32-pounder (17 cwt) carronades

Career

Acheron, under the command of Captain John Lort Stokes, was despatched to New Zealand in January 1848, arriving in November the same year.[2] In March 1851, due to a budget cut to the Hydrographer of the Navy, Acheron was ordered to be laid up in Sydney, New South Wales and her crew returned to England.[2][3] However, in November 1851, she was sent to rescue the passengers and crew of the British merchant ship Syrian, which had run aground on the Elizabeth Reef whilst on a voyage from Wellington, New Zealand to Sydney.[4] In July 1853, she rescued the passengers and crew of the British barque Tory, which had been wrecked north of Port Stephens, New South Wales.[5]

Fate

Acheron was sold at Sydney on 23 April 1855 for £2,067 16s.[1]

Notes

  1. Acheron was ordered from Chatham dockyard on 15 September 1837, but this was changed to Sheerness on 18 September, because the relevant tooling was already present there.
  2. A total cost accounting for inflation of approximately £2,256,000 in 2010.

References

  1. Winfield (2004) p.158
  2. Ritchie, Steve (1 January 2008). "By the Old Hydrographer". Hydro International.
  3. Natusch, Sheila. "John Lort Stokes". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  4. "Ship News". The Times (21066). London. 18 March 1852. col F, p. 7.
  5. "Shipping". The Morning Chronicle (27099). London. 31 October 1853.


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