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In the British Royal Navy, a third rate was a ship of the line which from the 1720s mounted between 64 and 80 guns, typically built with two gun decks (thus the related term two-decker). Years of experience proved that the third rate ships embodied the best compromise between sailing ability (speed, handling), firepower, and cost. So, while first rates and second rates were both larger and more powerful, the third-rate ships were in a real sense the optimal configuration.

Rating[edit]

When the rating system was first established in the 1620s, the third rate was defined as those ships having at least 200 but not more than 300 men; previous to this, the type had been classified as "middling ships". By the 1660s, the means of classification had shifted from the number of men to the number of carriage-mounted guns, and third rates at that time mounted between 48 and 60 guns. By the turn of the century, the criteria had grown and third rate carried more than 60 guns, with second rates having between 90 and 98 guns, while first rates had 100 guns or more, and fourth rates between 48 and 60 guns. By the latter half of the 18th century, they carried between 500 and 720 men.

This designation became especially common because it included the seventy-four gun ship, which eventually came to be the most popular size of large ship for navies of several different nations. It was an easier ship to handle than a first- or second-rate ship, but still possessed enough firepower to potentially destroy any single opponent other than a three-decker. It was also cheaper to operate.

Although this rating system was only used by the Royal Navy, British authors might still use "third rate" to speak of a French 74 (although the French Navy had its own system of five rates or rangs). By the end of the 18th century, ships of the line were usually characterized directly by their number of guns, the numbers even being used as the name of the type, as in "a squadron of three 74s". However, the rating system, although modified in 1817, continued until the end of the Age of Sail.

Bibliography[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-rate — Please support Wikipedia.
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542 news items

 
Columbia Journalism Review
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:48:45 -0700

That's the America's Markets section of USA Today's website, which puts business journalism on the Hamster Wheel—I counted 12 bylines in one day from one reporter—with predictably poor results. Like this headline: Is a 1987-type market crash 37 days ...
 
Prague Daily Monitor
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:48:45 -0700

"The introduction of a third rate can be expected to lead to complications connected with classification of goods and services in the right tax rate category," Petr Frisch of Pro Factum Consulting said. According to Frisch, the third VAT rate will not ...
 
Colorado Springs Gazette
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 07:37:30 -0700

To walk away from creating a culture at the Air Force Academy where ideas are expressed, debated, defended and strengthened is to make it a third-rate school, hardly deserving to be called a real university. And what kind of men and women do we want to ...

Examiner.com

Examiner.com
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 10:15:00 -0700

Another of those movies where a bunch of third-rate celebrities get together and make fun of the movies that are generally popular in a certain genre. This time it's more horror movie hijinx and making fun of the various horror movies that have come ...

Livemint

Livemint
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:33:45 -0700

This is the sort of third-rate pettiness Modi likes descending to, because as a nation we allow him to. This constant mischief from Modi keeps Setalvad away from the work Modi is afraid of. He has always abused the home ministry under him and I wish my ...

Salon

Salon
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 09:34:51 -0700

Anyway, this picture has some specific characteristics, although they're elusive and not plentiful amid the general atmosphere of third-rate apocalyptic rehash. “Transcendence” is a moronic stew of competing impulses — bad science meets bad sociology ...
 
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:03:45 -0700

In his typically blunt style, Young said President Obama's philosophies aim to make the U.S. a “third-rate nation,” bound by wealth distribution and rule-making by unelected bureaucrats. He singled out the Environmental Protection Agency for particular ...
 
Times of India
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:48:45 -0700

Today urbanization in India has led to a third rate Americanization of tacky office towers and glitzy shopping malls. There is not much concern for the past, still less the recent past," he said. "This sort of 'modernization' does not have time for ...
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