fighting ships of the world



HECTOR broadside ironclads (1864-1868)

Hector 1864

Hector 1864




Yard No


Laid down




Valiant     Westwood & Baillie, Poplar // Thames IW, Blackwall 1/2/1861 14/10/1863 15/9/1868 depot ship 1897
Hector   104 Napier, Govan 8/3/1861 26/9/1862 22/2/1864 hulk 1900


Displacement normal, t

Hector: 6455

Valiant: 6123

Displacement full, t


Length, m

85.4 pp 92.0? oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts

1 (hoisting)


sails + 1 2-cyl HRCR. 6 rectangular boilers

Power, h. p.

Hector: 3258

Valiant: 3560

Max speed, kts

Hector: 12.4

Valiant: 12.6

Fuel, t

Hector: coal 460

Valiant: coal 450

Endurance, nm(kts)

Hector: 1460

Valiant: 1430

Armour, mm

iron; belt: 114 with 457mm wood backing, battery: 114, bulkheads: 63


Hector: 20 x 1 - 206/15 68pdr 95cwt SBML, 4 x 1 - 183/17 110pdr 82cwt BL

Valiant: 2 x 1 - 203/15 MLR Mk III, 16 x 1 - 178/16 MLR Mk III



Ship project history: Repeat of Defence with increased protection, speed and armament, the beam was increased to compensate for the added top weight. Ships had strait stems instead of rams on previous pair and a rounded sterns unpierced except by gunports. Ships also were double-bottomed and winged.

    As completed Hector was seriously overweight and the coal capacity and the armament of both ships was reduced to compensate for this. Original builders of Valiant became bankrupt and her construction was taken over in 1861 by Thames Iron Works. This and decision to rearm her with new MLR guns resulted in extensive delay to her completion. Both ships had lifting screws but lifting tackle was not fitted.

    Designed armament consisted of 24 68pdr SB guns, but Hector was armed by 4 183mm BL guns on upper deck and 20 68pdr SB guns on the battery deck.

    Ships were barque-rigged, sail area was 2280m2. They rolled badly but manouvered well.

Ship protection: Battery armour extended the full length of the ship, 114mm for 65.9m length amidships and 63mm at ship ends, providing partial protection to the steering gear. Armour bulkheads were fitted across the end of the wl belt only, waterline at the bow and stern were unprotected.

Modernizations: (1867-1868), Hector: was completely rearmed with 2 x 1 - 203/15 MLR Mk III, 16 x 1 - 178/16 MLR Mk III

Naval service: Sea service of both ships ended in 1885-1886. Hector became part of the Vernon torpedo school in 1900 and was the first ship fitted with a wireless transmitter. Valiant was converted to depot ship in 1897, renamed Indus IV in 1904, Valiant (old) in 1916 and Valiant III in 1919. She was rebuilt to oil hulk in 1924 and broken up only in December 1956.

Thanks to Wolfgang Stöhr for additional information on this page.



© Ivan Gogin, 2008-14