The Sloop Of War: 1650-1763 Hardcover – 28 Feb 2014
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"Whether you are serious scholar, a devotee of naval history, or just someone who likes a good book, Sloop of War does not disappoint. Most of us can t devote a lifetime of study to this topic, much less gain access to the mouldering records so assiduously researched by the author. Thanks to McLaughlin, we don t have to in order to find out about the interesting history of this class of ship. Sloop of War is at once an extremely detailed academic treatment of early Royal Navy warships, and simultaneously a reference work that could grace any coffee table." --WhatWouldtheFoundersThink.com"
About the Author
IAN McLAUGHLAN is a retired British Army officer with a keen and active enthusiasm for small-boat sailing. From this passion developed a profound interest in the rigs, design and operations of the Navy's smallest combatants. A decade of study has resulted in this book.
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Moreover, according to the preface, we can also look forward to a second volume that will cover the period from 1763 to 1815. However, the author doubts that he will manage to complete a projected final third volume, running up to 1950. Perhaps a more modest and achievable aim might be to end in 1900, because the small ships of both world wars have already been well covered elsewhere.
My only caveat concerns the short section on stability at the end of chapter one, which contains some serious errors, and as a result misleads rather than enlightens. Professional seamen will be surprised to find that BM is in one place described as metacentric height, the value of intact freeboard is ignored, as is the danger of downdlooding, dynamic stability does not figure at all. Moreover, there is no effort to place this all in context by discussing how the understanding of stability developed in that period. The pity is that his attempt to explain a complex subject is unnecessary, and the book would have been much better without it. Those wishing to understand the subject could be directed to one of the many excellent stability textbooks. Hopefully a second edition will correct this. I still consider it worth 5 stars.