Serpent-class Torpedo boat:
- By 1879, it had already become clear that the Charleston Naval treaty of the 1870's had become irrelevant. By now, major nations were no longer building ironclads, but had begun construction on all-iron vessels. The Carolinian Admiralty issued a decree that all ships would now be built either of all iron or all steel. Also, the Admiralty had very little funds to spend on capital ships at a time when the army was modernizing (as we will see soon.) The Navy's funds had been spent heavily on the construction of the four Native-class ships, but 20 old Civil War-era ships had been paid off, scrapped, or decommissioned. The Navy determined that the funds freed up by disposing of these combatants could be well spent on a class of modern, small-scale units for coastal defense. Experiments with torpedo boat-type vessels had already shown the practicality of the TB concept, and the Admiralty resolved to build more of them for coast defense. A new contractor was also enlisted to assist in the development of the new class. The Port Royal Dry dock Company were the foremost experts in the building of small, lightweight ships for the navy, having already constructed the 3 experimental boats earlier on. The design was finalized in 1879 and ordered the same year, with six units to be completed by 1880. However, the Navy's construction of the Native-class had been very costly and therefore the order was delayed, with construction to begin in 1880 and the boats to be delivered in 1881. The time freed up by the delay was used to further refine the design, and a new torpedo assembly was developed. It consisted of 2 18-inch revolving tubes with manually-operated cranes to load the torpedoes into the tubes. The only gun carried was a single 3-pounder gun in the bow for self-defense and attacks against any target in general. They were built of steel rather than iron, as they didn't require as much of the expensive material as a capital ship did, and were propelled by smaller versions of the new boilers used in the Native-class. Also a new feature was the single compound engine used in the design, which propelled the boats to a speed of 22 knots, very respectable for the day. For the first time in a Carolinian combatant, twin-screw propulsion was adopted, with 2-shafts driving 3-bladed bronze propellers. The Admiralty continued the practice of painting the bottom of the boats green with gray hulls. The command structure was rather bulky and therefore caused some stability issues in rough seas, but, as the boats were coast defense vessels and therefore intended to operate in the calm waters of the Carolina sounds, this was not really considered a major issue. Construction started, as planned, in 1880, and the boats were all laid down that year. Completed and commissioned in 1881, they were the most advanced vessels of their kind in any American navy. They served until 1898, when they were sold for scrap in favor of larger, faster, more heavily armed destroyers and TB's. Their names were Viper, Cottonmouth, Copperhead, Rattlesnake, Boa, and Anaconda.
Type: Coast defense torpedo boat
Beam: 8 feet
Draft: 4 feet
Displacement: 105 tons
Speed: 22 knots
Range: 330 Miles at 12 knots
Machinery: 2 x Circular, high-pressure coal-fired boilers, 1 x Compound reciprocating steam engine
Armament: 2 x Revolving 18-inch Torpedo tubes with 2 reloads each and 1 in the tube, 1 x 3-pounder QF gun, later also 2 x 7.92mm machine guns.
I fixed the crediting!