Scale model of a CANNON SLOOP, from the Ehrensvärd Society collection
The cannon sloop was one the smallest vessels of the Archipelago Fleet, which in due time proved itself together with the cannon dinghy to be one of the most effective ones in battle.
The masts of the cannon sloop could be lowered down, and parts of the prow could be removed. In that way, a wider shooting range could be achieved. The cannons were aligned with the help of oars and rudder. In some versions the heavier cannons could be lowered to the bottom of the ship which made it more sea worthy. When rowing the speed of the sloop was approximately 2,5 knots.
The first cannon sloops did not have a deck, so the crew had no shelter against wind or rain cover. Sloops with a deck were, however, introduced in the early 19th century. The vessel did not have any sleeping quarters nor space for meals, so the crew prepared their meals on land and slept in tents. The sloops were identified by numbers instead of names. Winter storage was easy – the vessel had only to be pulled ashore. The cannon sloops became an important element of the navy, taking part in battles, for example the battle of Svensksund.
Cannon sloop built: 1780–
Length: Approx. 17, 2 meters
Width: Approx. 4,1 meters
Draught: 0,75 meter
Crew: 55 men
Oars: 10-15 pairs, 2 men at each oar
Armament: two 18-pounder cannons. For close combat there could be as many as 4 swivel cannons. Later models would even be armed with a 24-pounder cannon
On the display a video showing cannon sloop Diana in the waters surrounding Sveaborg
The cannon sloop Diana was launched in 2013. It is based on drawings made by ship builder Fredrik Henrik af Chapman. The project was carried through by the Ehrensvärd Society and the Foundation for the Dock on Sveaborg. The sloop was built in the dry dock on Sveaborg; only traditional methods and materials were used. Diana has, however, also an engine in addition to oars and sails. The video shows rowing of Diana in the waters surrounding Sveaborg. The persons taking part are wearing the uniforms of the Archipelago Fleet. Diana makes cruises in summertime, where members of the public can take part.