NA Ship 5th Rate Essex
A well armed and armoured 18-pounder frigate with good speed with a good amount of crew, she's a good sailor, but a bit sluggish in turn rate in comparison to other frigates.
The USS Essex is a good frigate out gunning the regular Frigate and getting close(due to having 12pd on weather deck instead of 9 pd) to the Trincomalee. The Essex has good speed(being faster than the Frigate but slower than the Trincomalee) and good turning(beating the Trincomalee but loosing to the Frigate).
The Essex is currently a bit of a problem ship however. Her lack of bow chasers make her difficult to PvP and to keep merchant ships tagged in the battle instance. Although just a minor problem, the entirety of her upper deck guns is on her quarter deck, which may make accurate aiming difficult for the early part of her main lower guns for a front rolling broadside. As a result of this the Essex serves better as a support ship rather than a hunter or a fighter, supporting other larger ships in battle.
She handles much like the Belle Poule and Frigate, in the manner one would expect a ship-rigged vessel to handle. She performs best on points 135-150 and loses speed slowly as you turn towards a beam reach. Turning upwind from there yields a more rapid increase in speed. Compared to the Frigate and Belle Poule, the Essex is notably weaker sailing at around point 30, but otherwise, she handles much the same. Unfortunately for her, however, her lack of chasers means that her low(ish) maximum speed is even more of a hindrance than for the Frigate. Only with very cunning positioning are you likely to catch a decently commanded fleeing opponent with the Essex.
Essex Class Information
Crafting Level: 30/31/32/33/34
Labor Hours: 931
Ship Yard Level: 2
Notable Ships of Class
Ship Name, Captain
The USS Essex was an American built frigate that fought in the War of 1812, but was captured by the British off the port of Valparaiso. She faced the 38-gun HMS Phoebe and the 18-gun HMS Cherub, and was soundly defeated. Essex, to the dismay of her captain only carried carronades, whilst her foes carried long guns; throughout the battle, Essex was unable to fire upon her enemies.
The USS Essex also spent time attacking British whalers; her exploits are rumored to be the inspiration of Master and Commander's Acheron.