Royal Navy – Sloops, Corvettes, and Patrol Vessels

Royal Navy Sloops, Corvettes, and Patrol Vessels

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Black Swan Class LOA 299′ / 91.1 m TDISP 1,300 tons (37 built over to types, 1 remaining in Egypt)

ex-HMS Whimbrel U-29 (1943) transferred to Egypt as El Malek Farouq in 1949, renamed Tariq 1954, Egyptian Navy is currently investigating a sale back to Britain (Liverpool) for preservation as a museum ship.

HMS Windrush 1943 © IWM (A 14158)

HMS Whimbrel U-29 Alexandria Egypt 2018HMS Zenith and HMS Whimbrel 2014

Grimsby Class LOA 266′ / 81.1 m TDISP 1,400 tons (13 built, 1 preserved)

HMS Wellington U-65 (1934 – 1947) and became HQ shipHMS Wellington U65 London 2018.jpg

Anchusa Class LOA 262′ / 79.9 m TDISP 1,300 tons (28 retired, 1 preserved)

HMS President ex-HMS Saxifrage “Q-ship” (1918) Anti-submarine vessel disguised to look like a merchant ship. Now HQMS President, stationary ship 1922-2016 Victoria Embankment, Thames, reserve drill ship and gunnery training ship, then sold to civilian interests as a conference center. Was moved for construction of a new tunnel. Currently is in Chatham Dockyard, with plans to return her to the Thames.HMS President London 2015

Offshore Patrol Vessels

River Class Patrol Vessel LOA 260′ / 79.2 m (Batch 1) to 296′ / 90.2 m (Batch 2) TDISP ca. 2,000 tons (11 active)

HMS Tamar P-233, a batch 2 River class OPV, in her 2021 tribute disruptive “dazzle” scheme. Credit: Forces News, OGL v1.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

River class offshore patrol vessel portsmouth 2019-1River class offshore patrol vessel portsmouth 2019-2

Castle Class OPV LOA 246′ / 75 m TDISP 1,420 tons (1981-2010) transferred to Bangladesh 2010. Castle class OPV Portsmouth 2004Castle class OPV Portsmouth 2005

Patrol Boats

Fairmile Type B motor launch LOA 112′ / 34.1 m TDISP 85 tons Second World War local patrol boats used in a variety of roles. These were often repurposed as ferries, houseboats, excursion vessels, and occasionally private yachts.

Fairmile MLs ex-ferries Galmpton UK 2007

RML-497 after decommissioning, served as a ferry Western Lady III, in the Brixham/Torquay area.

Fairmile RML-497 ferry brixham 2010


Fairmile ML-357 Essex 2020Fairmile ML-357 Essex 2006


Fairmile RML-526 ferry Rye UK 2018Fairmile RML-526 ferry cornwall 2009

Fairmile Type C motor gunboat LOA 110′ / 33.5 m TDISP 72 tons

Fairmile C Xoron Bembridge harbour UK 2015Fairmile C Xoron Bembridge harbour UK 2014

Harbour Defence Motor Launch / Seaward Defence Motor Launch LOA 72′ / 21.9 m TDISP 54 tons (ca. 370 built, very few remain) wooden hulled, often of mahogany. Intended for Anti-Submarine defence of the approaches to harbours, but used more widely.

HDML ML-1387 (1943-1968) later HMS Medusa. Museum ship with HMS Medusa Trust, operating out of Gosport. Postwar she served as a surveying ship, and then was sold privately, until refurbished and preserved in 2003. Her long and colourful history is explored at the website of the Trust.

HDML 1387 HMS Medusa at Haslar Marina, 2015. Credit: Murgatroyd49, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

HDML ML1387 - HMS Medusa Gosport 2020

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