NA Ship 5th Rate Surprise

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General Information


The Surprise is a 38 gun frigate; she is famous for her prominent role in the movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" and also the respective books from Patrick O'Brian.

The Surprise is a 38 gun frigate with similar size to ships like the Frigate or the Belle Poule however the Surprise has a very light armament of only 9pd cannons on her gun deck compared to the Belle Poule with 12pd cannons or the Frigate with 18pd cannons, on the flip side due to her lower armament she can easily be sailed with a lower amount of crew, especially considering she has 40 less crew than either the Frigate or Belle Poule.

The Surprise stands out compared to all other frigates, and in fact most other square-rigged vessels, in that she is a strong sailor at any point between point 90-150 and in fact performs decently even at points 165 and 75. This is the strength of the Surprise's sailing behaviour - her modest base speed is balanced by her being able to perform well or very well across a broad range of directions relative to the wind. Other frigates and ships of the line will have great difficulty escaping the Surprise on any point other than a broad reach, yet here too the Surprise is strong and with her bow chasers she is ideally suited to drawn-out pursuits. Her upwind capabilities are obviously not sufficient to allow her to catch the speedier fore-and-aft rigged vessels or faster Square rigged vessels like the Rattlesnake but they are good enough to generate an element of unpredictability and well... surprise in combat against unwary square-rigged opponents. Essentially, the Surprise is a dedicated hunter; designed to chase down enemy frigates and ships of the line, slowing them with well aimed shots from her bow chasers, and denying them escape at any point of sail. A Captain of a Surprise must merely make sure not to bite off more than they can chew and provoke a broadside-to-broadside combat with much heavier ships.


  • Gun Deck , 24 guns
    • Cannons: 9pd; Carronades: 32pd
  • Weather Deck , 14 guns
    • Cannons: 6pd; Carronades: 18pd
  • Stern Chasers, 2
    • Cannons: 6pd; Carronades: 18pd
  • Stern Chasers, 4
    • Cannons: 6pd; Carronades: 18pd



Surprise Class Information


  • Rate: 5th Rate
  • Guns: 38
  • Chasers: Bow and Stern
  • Broadside Weight:
    • Cannons pd
    • Carronades pd
  • Battle Rating: 140
  • Crew: 240
  • Sailing Crew: 65
  • Max Speed: 12.32kn
  • Turn Rate: 3.72
  • Structure
    • Bow Structure: 1000, Armor: 34cm
    • Side Structure: 4000, Armor: 57cm
    • Stern Structure: 400, Armor: 23cm
    • Sail HP: 4000, Mast Thickness: 69cm
  • Rigging: Square
  • Draught: Deep
  • Cargo Capacity: 200, Slot: 10

Crafting Information

Crafting Level: 20/21/22/23/24

Labor Hours: 589

Ship Yard Level: 2


  • 25 x Ballast
  • 49 x Blocks
  • 30 x Cables And Howsers
  • 10 x Canvas Rolls
  • 20 x Cordage And Oakum
  • 33 x Iron Fittings
  • 24 x Medium Carriage
  • 160 x Oak Frame Parts
  • 254 x Planks
  • 10 x Rigging Parts
  • 22 x Rudder Parts
  • 20 x Small Carriage
  • 7 x Tar
  • 79 x Wooden Fittings


  • 1/2/3/4 x Mid Grade Note

Materials List:

  • 280 x Coal
  • 161 x Fir Log
  • 105 x Hemp
  • 280 x Iron Ore
  • 1 x Lignum Vitae Log
  • 99 x Oak Log
  • 5 x Pine Log
  • 39 x Stone Block

Notable Ships of Class

Ship Name, Captain