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HMCS Constance

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HMCS Constance PA-191938.jpg
Constance, possibly while in service as CGS Constance prior to the First World War.
History
Canada
NameConstance
BuilderPolson Iron Works, Owen Sound, Ontario
Launched1891
Commissioned1914, as HMCS Constance
Decommissioned1919
FateSold in 1924
General characteristics
TypePatrol vessel
Displacement185 long tons (188 t)
Length115 ft 0 in (35.1 m)
Beam19 ft 6 in (5.9 m)
Draught11 ft 2 in (3.4 m)
Propulsion1 × screw, compound steam engine, 50 nhp
Speed10 knots (19 km/h)
Complement23
Armament3 × machine guns

HMCS Constance was a commissioned minesweeper of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) during the First World War. Originally built as a fisheries cruiser for the Department of Marine and Fisheries, upon completion she was transferred to the Department of Customs, and was used by the Customs Preventive Service. Constance spent the entire war as a patrol and examination vessel on the East Coast of Canada. Following the war, the vessel was sold in 1924.

Description

Constance had a gross register tonnage of 185 tons, which did not increase during the First World War when it became her official displacement. The vessel was fitted with a ram bow, giving the ship the appearance of a gunboat.[1] The ship was 115 feet 0 inches (35.1 m) long with a beam of 19 feet 6 inches (5.9 m) and a draught of 11 feet 2 inches (3.4 m).[2] The ship was powered by a compound steam engine using coal driving one screw creating 50 nominal horsepower.[1][3] This gave Constance a maximum speed of 10 knots (19 km/h).[2][a] The vessel was armed with three machine guns and had a complement of 23.[1][2]

Discover more about Description related topics

Gross register tonnage

Gross register tonnage

Gross register tonnage or gross registered tonnage, is a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", each of which is equal to 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3). Replaced by Gross Tonnage (GT), gross register tonnage uses the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel as its basis for volume. Typically this is used for dockage fees, canal transit fees, and similar purposes where it is appropriate to charge based on the size of the entire vessel. Internationally, GRT may be abbreviated as BRT for the German "Bruttoregistertonne".

Displacement (ship)

Displacement (ship)

The displacement or displacement tonnage of a ship is its weight. As the term indicates, it is measured indirectly, using Archimedes' principle, by first calculating the volume of water displaced by the ship, then converting that value into weight. Traditionally, various measurement rules have been in use, giving various measures in long tons. Today, tonnes are more commonly used.

Gunboat

Gunboat

A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for ferrying troops or supplies.

Beam (nautical)

Beam (nautical)

The beam of a ship is its width at its widest point. The maximum beam (BMAX) is the distance between planes passing through the outer extremities of the ship, beam of the hull (BH) only includes permanently fixed parts of the hull, and beam at waterline (BWL) is the maximum width where the hull intersects the surface of the water.

Draft (hull)

Draft (hull)

The draft or draught of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel). The draught of the vessel is the maximum depth of any part of the vessel, including appendages such as rudders, propellers and drop keels if deployed. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate. The related term air draft is the maximum height of any part of the vessel above the water.

Compound steam engine

Compound steam engine

A compound steam engine unit is a type of steam engine where steam is expanded in two or more stages. A typical arrangement for a compound engine is that the steam is first expanded in a high-pressure (HP) cylinder, then having given up heat and losing pressure, it exhausts directly into one or more larger-volume low-pressure (LP) cylinders. Multiple-expansion engines employ additional cylinders, of progressively lower pressure, to extract further energy from the steam.

Propeller

Propeller

A propeller is a device with a rotating hub and radiating blades that are set at a pitch to form a helical spiral which, when rotated, exerts linear thrust upon a working fluid such as water or air. Propellers are used to pump fluid through a pipe or duct, or to create thrust to propel a boat through water or an aircraft through air. The blades are specially shaped so that their rotational motion through the fluid causes a pressure difference between the two surfaces of the blade by Bernoulli's principle which exerts force on the fluid. Most marine propellers are screw propellers with helical blades rotating on a propeller shaft with an approximately horizontal axis.

Knot (unit)

Knot (unit)

The knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, exactly 1.852 km/h. The ISO standard symbol for the knot is kn. The same symbol is preferred by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), while kt is also common, especially in aviation, where it is the form recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The knot is a non-SI unit. The knot is used in meteorology, and in maritime and air navigation. A vessel travelling at 1 knot along a meridian travels approximately one minute of geographic latitude in one hour.

Machine gun

Machine gun

A machine gun is a fully automatic, rifled autoloading firearm designed for sustained direct fire with rifle cartridges. Other automatic firearms such as automatic shotguns and automatic rifles are typically designed more for firing short bursts rather than continuous firepower, and are not considered true machine guns.

Ship's company

Ship's company

A ship's company comprises all officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel aboard a naval vessel. The size of the ship's company is the number of people on board, excluding civilians and guests.

Service history

Constance was ordered from Polson Iron Works by Charles Tupper, Minister of Marine and Fisheries and constructed at their yard in Owen Sound, Ontario. The ship was ordered after a fishing treaty collapsed with the United States and the Royal Navy refused to send vessels to monitor the Atlantic Canada fisheries.[4] The vessel was launched in 1891. The ship was initially intended to be a fisheries patrol vessel but was turned over to Customs Preventative Service shortly after launch. Constance had two sisters, Curlew and Petrel.[1] Constance was paid for in part when the department sold the small patrol vessel Cruiser to Polson Iron Works.[5] There was some concern in the United States over the construction of these vessels on the Great Lakes, claiming that it might be in contravention of the Rush–Bagot Treaty.[6] Constance was initially assigned to patrol the Saint Lawrence River and upper Gulf of St. Lawrence. Constance's role was to intercept suspicious vessels in Canadian waters and investigating them for illicit cargo and goods. If found, Constance would then escort the vessel to a Canadian port. Proceeds from any interception were distributed among the crew. Although at work for the Customs Preventative Service of Canada, the ship was nominally owned by the Department of Marine and Fisheries.[7]

In August 1908, Constance became a fisheries patrol vessel on the East Coast of Canada.[1][8] In 1912, Constance and her sisters were all outfitted for minesweeping. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Constance was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy and from the beginning to the end of the war in 1918, was used for patrol and examination services on the East Coast.[2] Following the war, Constance was paid off in 1919 and put up for sale. The vessel was sold in 1924.[2] In 1926, Constance was chartered once again by Customs Preventative Service for duties at Cape Breton as part of the force's expansion to combat rum smuggling in Nova Scotia during American Prohibition. In 1929, the Customs Preventative Service ended the charter for Constance.[9]

Discover more about Service history related topics

Polson Iron Works Limited

Polson Iron Works Limited

The Polson Iron Works was an Ontario-based firm which built large steam engines, as well as ships, barges and dredges.

Charles Tupper

Charles Tupper

Sir Charles Tupper, 1st Baronet,, M.D. was a Canadian Father of Confederation who served as the sixth prime minister of Canada from May 1 to July 8, 1896. As the premier of Nova Scotia from 1864 to 1867, he led Nova Scotia into Confederation. He briefly served as the Canadian prime minister, from seven days after parliament had been dissolved, until he resigned on July 8, 1896 following his party's loss in the 1896 Canadian federal election. He is the only medical doctor to have ever held the office of prime minister of Canada and his 69-day tenure as prime minister is the shortest in Canadian history.

Owen Sound

Owen Sound

Owen Sound is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The county seat of Grey County, it is located at the mouths of the Pottawatomi and Sydenham Rivers on an inlet of Georgian Bay.

Ontario

Ontario

Ontario is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province, with 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province by total area. Ontario is Canada's fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is Ontario's provincial capital.

Royal Navy

Royal Navy

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is consequently known as the Senior Service.

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada, also called the Atlantic provinces, is the region of Eastern Canada comprising the provinces located on the Atlantic coast, excluding Quebec. The four provinces are New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. As of 2021, the landmass of the four Atlantic provinces was approximately 488,000 km2, and had a population of over 2.4 million people. The provinces combined had an approximate GDP of $121.888 billion in 2011. The term Atlantic Canada was popularized following the admission of Newfoundland as a Canadian province in 1949.

Ceremonial ship launching

Ceremonial ship launching

Ceremonial ship launching involves the performance of ceremonies associated with the process of transferring a vessel to the water. It is a nautical tradition in many cultures, dating back thousands of years, to accompany the physical process with ceremonies which have been observed as public celebration and a solemn blessing, usually but not always, in association with the launch itself.

HMCS Curlew

HMCS Curlew

HMCS Curlew was a commissioned minesweeper and patrol vessel of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) that served in the First World War. Constructed in Ontario in 1892, Curlew was initially a Canadian government fisheries patrol vessel on the East Coast of Canada. In 1912, the ship was fitted as a minesweeper and in 1914, joined the RCN. Curlew spent the entire war on the East Coast of Canada. Following the war, the ship was taken out of service and sold in 1921.

CGS Petrel

CGS Petrel

CGS Petrel was a Canadian patrol vessel used primarily for fisheries protection on the upper Great Lakes from 1892 to 1904. In 1904, Petrel was sent to the East Coast of Canada for fisheries protection duties there. In 1912, Petrel was fitted for minesweeping and in 1914, was taken over by the Royal Canadian Navy for use as an examination vessel during the First World War. Following the war, Petrel was discarded.

Great Lakes

Great Lakes

The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region of North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. There are five lakes, which are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario and are in general on or near the Canada–United States border. Hydrologically, lakes Michigan and Huron are a single body joined at the Straits of Mackinac. The Great Lakes Waterway enables modern travel and shipping by water among the lakes.

Gulf of St. Lawrence

Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Gulf of St. Lawrence is the outlet of the North American Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. The gulf is a semi-enclosed sea, covering an area of about 226,000 square kilometres (87,000 sq mi) and containing about 34,500 cubic kilometres (8,300 cu mi) of water, at an average depth of 152 metres (500 ft).

Minesweeping

Minesweeping

Minesweeping is the practice of the removal of explosive naval mines, usually by a specially designed ship called a minesweeper using various measures to either capture or detonate the mines, but sometimes also with an aircraft made for that purpose. Minesweeping has been practiced since the advent of naval mining in 1855 in the Crimean War. The first minesweepers date to that war and consisted of British rowboats trailing grapnels to snag the mines.

Source: "HMCS Constance", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Constance.

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Notes
  1. ^ Maginley and Collin state the speed of the vessel was 11 knots (20 km/h).[1]
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f Maginley & Collin 2001, p. 86.
  2. ^ a b c d e Macpherson & Barrie 2002, p. 19.
  3. ^ McDougall 1995, p. 39.
  4. ^ Johnston et al. 2010, p. 57.
  5. ^ McDougall 1995, p. 38.
  6. ^ "A New Dominion Cruiser.; Something about the Constance, Now Being Built". The New York Times. 20 March 1892. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  7. ^ McDougall 1995, pp. 39–40.
  8. ^ Johnston et al. 2010, p. 181.
  9. ^ McDougall 1995, pp. 45–46, 50.
Sources
  • Johnston, William; Rawling, William G.P.; Gimblett, Richard H. & MacFarlane, John (2010). The Seabound Coast: The Official History of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1867–1939. Vol. 1. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55488-908-2.
  • Macpherson, Ken & Barrie, Ron (2002). The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–2002 (Third ed.). St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-072-1.
  • Maginley, Charles D. & Collin, Bernard (2001). The Ships of Canada's Marine Services. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-55125-070-5.
  • McDougall, David J. (October 1995). "The Origins and Growth of the Canadian Customs Preventive Service Fleet in the Maritime Provinces and Eastern Quebec, 1892–1932". The Northern Mariner. V (4). ISSN 1183-112X.

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