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Type: Tug ; late Gun-vessel ; Armament 2
Completed : 30 Aug 1825 ; Disposal date or year : 1862
BM: 295 tons
Machinery notes: 90
Laid down as Dee, 10 gun sailing brig sloop, and the converted to paddle steamer.
Circa April 1826 is reported to have arrived at Sierra Leone. followiong a 33 day passage from Falmouth.
Freetown 28 Aug 1826 sailed with the Lively in search of a Colombian pirate, reported to be in the area, but having sighted her, she escaped in the dark of the night.
Nov 1826 is reported to be taking the Governor along the coast to inspect the various Army units occupying the forts along the Gold Coast and up the various rivers in the regionn.
Deal, May 27 1830 W., Arrived from the Mediterranean,
11 Jan 1831 Woolwich Refitting.
14 Feb 1831 Lieutenant James Harvey is appointed to the African steam-vessel.
21 May 1831 arrived Falmouth from the Mediterranean, from Corfu 30th ult., Malta 4th inst., Gib. 13th, and Cadiz 14th.
28 May 1831 arrived at Plymouth, from the Mediterranean.
1 Nov 1831 refitting at Woolwich.
Falmouth Mar 21 1833 arrived from Plymouth.
14 Apr 1833 arrived at Plymouth.
Falmouth May 26 1833 Sailed to search for the Columbia steam-packet, which suffered machinery problems about 100 miles S.W. of Scilly.
Falmouth May 30 1833 E.S.E. Returned from search for the Columbia steamer, but missed her.
Plymouth, Thursday, August 1 1833.- Arrived at Falmouth an Monday, from Lisbon, (23 Jul.), and Oporto (25 Jul.).
30 Aug 1833 Falmouth. Arrived.
Oct. 12 1833.- Sailed from Falmouth, with the mails for Portugal.
1 Jan 1834 Being employed on various home port services.
11 Jan 1834 Woolwich Under repair in the basin.
18 Jan 1834 Remains at Woolwich
Plymouth May 11 1834.- Arrived from Lisbon.
Plymouth, May 29 1834 Will be paid off on Saturday for recommissioning.
Plymouth, June 5 1834 Commissioned by Lieutenant J. West.
16 Dec 1834 The African is to be given a new complement, with the masters' assistants and all others being included ; engineers are to rank with the gunner, boatswain, and carpenter, but next after the latter ; they are not to have halt-pay nor superannuation, and are to be removed when considered necessary. The gunner is to be removed, and the stores placed in charge of the second master ; assistant surgeons are, in future, to be appointed to steamers commanded by lieutenants. The Lisbon mails are not in future to be taken by steamer ; gun-brigs being appointed in their place. Devonport Telegraph.
Plymouth 18 Feb 1835 sailed to Falmouth and is expected to take the next mail for Malta.
Falmouth 26 Jul 1835 arrived here today with mail from Malta (5th), calling at Gibraltar (18), and Cadiz (19).
28 Aug 1838 Promoted Master : R. Salmond
22 Jul 1841, left Woolwich. to tow the Castor from Sheerness to Chatham, where the latter will be paid off. 5 Aug 1841, Woolwich, sailed for Chatham to tow the Growler to the City Canal to have her engines fitted by Messrs. Seaward and Co. 9 Aug 1841, Woolwich, left Woolwich for Sheerness, to tow the Trafalgar out of dock to her moorings. 1 Sep 1841, Woolwich, the Monkey and African towed the Rhadamanthus from Sheerness to Woolwich. 29 Oct 1841, Woolwich, in harbour. Mar 1847 Involved in recovery of steam sloop Sphynx. See below
Jan 1848 Chatham, in Ordinary (reserve)
20 Dec 1848 now used as a tug at Sheerness
21 Apr 1852, shortly after four A.M. the the squadron, consisting of the Assistance, Resolute, North Star, with the tenders Pioneer and Intrepid, departed downstream for the Nore, towed by the `Lightning,' `African,' and `Monkey,' the tenders under their own steam, for the North Sea. At 9 o'clock cast off the tugs and anchored at the Nore to complete the stowage of the North Star, and make good some defects, the Pioneer having collided with the Assistance.
22 Apr 1852, the Intrepid having made good her defect the Squadron departed under tow in the early hours, but the movement of the sea making towing inconvenient, the tows were dropped and the Assistance, Resolute, and North Star continued under sail, and the sea getting up the Lightning returned to Woolwich, and not being seen again, it was assumed that the African had accompanied the Lightning.
1860 tug at Sheerness
1861-62 classified in the Naval Budget as a Yard Craft at Sheerness ie not in commission - tug.
Portsmouth, 12 March 1847.- The Sphynx steam sloop was towed into this harbour at ten o'clock this morning by the Echo tug, and was followed by the African and Monkey tugs, each laden with the gear used in this memorable operation. The vessel was not finally extricated from her stranded position until ten o'clock yesterday morning. The following is a description of the means which have proved successful in saving this fine vessel:-
The plan devised for this object was by means of "camels" - the project of Commander Caffin, of the Scourge steam-sloop, and Mr. Watts, the senior assistant master shipwright of this dockyard - the buoyant power of which amounted to above 130 tons, brought under a strong frame-work constructed under her paddle-boxes ; to this was added by Mr. Watts, subsequently to Commander Caffin's leaving, another camel, which was brought under the head of the vessel, on which, at the extreme foremost end was erected a high framework for supporting the chain cabins, hawsers, &c., used in heaving the vessel off, and to obviate or counteract this downward pressure, at the end of the camel, next the stem, was fixed a fork, formed by means of two stout pieces of fir timber placed a little more than the breadth of the stem asunder (sic), and bolted firmly to the deck of the camel. This fork came underneath two stout cleats fastened to the stem of the vessel, so that the downward pressure of the cables when hove upon constituted a power, at one end, of a lever to lift the bow of the ship at the other end. This was found to render most important aid in getting the vessel over the bank or reef of rocks, up to which she had been brought on the two former occasions, but could not then be got over. This ledge has not more than six feet of water on it at high tide, whereas the Sphynx, when lightened of everything except her engines, drew ten feet of water. The feat, therefore, of getting her over the reef is one of the most remarkable incidents ever recorded in naval science .- London Paper.