This article is about Royal Navy ships of the line. For the adjective meaning that something is of inferior quality, see wikt:third-rate
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.
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.
- Rodger, N.A.M. The Command of the Ocean, a Naval History of Britain 1649-1815, London (2004). ISBN 0-7139-9411-8.
- Bennett, G. The Battle of Trafalgar, Barnsley (2004). ISBN 1-84415-107-7.
- Winfield, Rif, British Warships in the Age of Sail: 1603-1714, Barnsley (2009) ISBN 978-1-84832-040-6; British Warships in the Age of Sail: 1714-1792, Barnsley (2007) ISBN 978-1-84415-700-6; British Warships in the Age of Sail: 1793-1817, (2nd edition) Barnsley (2008). ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4.
Sun, 09 Feb 2014 01:47:51 -0800
Kolkata, Feb 9: CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat on Sunday lashed out at the Congress, BJP and Mamata Banerjee at a massive Left Front rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds here which kicked off campaign for this year's Lok Sabha election.
I Am Rogue.com
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 18:07:30 -0700
... and Kurt Russell about The Art of the Steal, please click on the video player above. SYNOPSIS: A third-rate motorcycle daredevil and part-time art thief (Russell) teams up with his snaky brother (Dillon) to steal one of the most valuable books in ...
Tampa Bay Newspapers
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 19:37:30 -0700
Crunch Calhoun (Kurt Russell), a third rate motorcycle daredevil and semi-reformed art thief, agrees to get back into the con game and pull off one final lucrative art theft with his untrustworthy brother, Nicky (Matt Dillon). Reassembling the old team ...
New Jersey Hills
Sat, 08 Mar 2014 14:52:30 -0800
Watergate, the grand- daddy of all “Gates,” was originally dismissed as a “third rate burglary”. However, the break-in was only the tip of the iceberg. The problem is that everyone under forty-one years of age wasn't even born, when Watergate was the ...
Southern Maryland News Net
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 10:48:45 -0700
Every second we lose is another second our kids are being exposed to a third-rate curriculum in a first-world economy. Count on me as an ally in this fight. -Dan. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Tags: common core, Dan Bongino, letter, math.
Fidelity Worldwide Investment
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 21:30:00 -0700
Net foreign debt was only about 30% of GDP when then-Treasurer Paul Keating in May 1986 warned that Australia was becoming a “third-rate economy, a banana republic”, though admittedly inflation at 9% and a federal deficit at close to 7% of GDP were ...
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 10:30:19 -0800
The solicitors who are still in business quite simply won't have the time, money or expertise to prepare cases properly. "And it's the ordinary people, those we don't hear about, who don't make the headlines, who will have to accept third-rate advice ...
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 17:11:15 -0700
Indeed, the Japanese were fond of noting that they had a third-rate government but a first-rate economy. During these years, leadership of Keidanren rotated among the top executives of the nation's giant blue-ribbon corporations—companies like Nippon ...
Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter
You can talk about Third-rate with people all over the world in our discussions.