Spanish cruiser Cristobal Colon (1887)

Cristóbal Colón was a Velasco-class unprotected cruiser of the Spanish Navy.

An unidentified Velasco-class (here called "Infanta Isabel-class") cruiser in U.S. waters during the 1880s or 1890s, showing the appearance of Cristóbal Colón
Name: Cristóbal Colón
Namesake: Christopher Columbus
Builder: La Carraca shipyard, Cadiz, Spain
Launched: 1887
Completed: 1888 or 1889
Fate: Foundered 29 September 1895
General characteristics
Class and type: Velasco-class unprotected cruiser
Displacement: 1,152 tons
Length: 210 ft 0 in (64.01 m)
Beam: 32 ft 0 in (9.75 m)
Draft: 13 ft 8 in (4.17 m) maximum
Installed power: 1,500 ihp (1,100 kW)
Propulsion: 1-shaft, horizontal compound, 4-cylinder boilers
Sail plan: Barque-rigged
  • 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
  • made 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) on sea trials
Complement: 173 officers and enlisted
Notes: 200 to 220 tons of coal (normal)

Technical characteristics

Cristóbal Colón was built at La Carraca shipyard, Cadiz, Spain. Her keel was laid in 1883. She had one rather tall funnel. The ship had an iron hull and was rigged as a barque. The cruiser made 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) on sea trials, probably the highest speed attained by a cruiser of this class.

Operational history

Cristóbal Colón was sent to the Caribbean and foundered near Pinar del Río, Cuba, on 29 September 1895. A hurricane passing through the area broke up her wreck on 1 October 1895.


  • Chesneau, Roger, and Eugene M. Kolesnik, Eds. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905. New York, New York: Mayflower Books Inc., 1979. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4.

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