Gun Boat Caustic research

Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
2,008
Points
538

Location
Pewaukee, Wisconsin
I've always had an interest in the gun boats of the American Revolution and the War of 1812. I have a model of the Philadelphia in my stash, and I've completed the framing of Jeff Staudt's "Batteau" (not strictly a gun boat in this sense, but it did have a gun!) I've been looking at Dave Stevens gun boat Caustic. I did some internet research, but have been unable to find any information about Caustic. Anyone out there have any info? DavesS? Uwe?
 

Kkonrath

Kurt Konrath
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
1,557
Points
478

Location
Oklahoma City OK
I did search of "gun boat Caustic" and got several hits, several to another forum build logs, http://modelshipbuilder.com/page.php?186,

and this one to HM Naval Archives.

 
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
3,365
Points
578

HI DOC, I TOO HAVE A INTERESTS IN THE GUN BOATS, I BUILT DAVES CAUSTIC A SEMI SCRATCH AS I CALL IT I HAVE THE BFINISHED MODEL ONE OF THE FEW I KEPT I T W, AND I HAVE BEEN HOOKED ON POF EVER SINCE, IT WAS ALSO MY FIRST INTRODUCTION TO 3-D INSTRUCTION MY PASSION ASK DAVE YOU STILL CAN SEE THE WHOLE BUILDING LOG ON MSB, I AM SURE IT IS STILL THERE, PLEASE LET ME HERE MORE TAKE A LOOK. GOD BLESS STAY SAFE YOU AND YOURS DON
 

Kkonrath

Kurt Konrath
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
1,557
Points
478

Location
Oklahoma City OK
Short history of the Gun Boat Caustic: It was designed, it was built, it floated and was sunk or destroyed......ha ha.

Hope you have better luck finding some actual history or mission facts on the ship.

I am assuming this was a Royal Navy vessel?
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
2,008
Points
538

Location
Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Short history of the Gun Boat Caustic: It was designed, it was built, it floated and was sunk or destroyed......ha ha.

Hope you have better luck finding some actual history or mission facts on the ship.

I am assuming this was a Royal Navy vessel?

All I've been able to gather so far is that she was built in the early part of the War of 1812 at a British Naval yard on Ile Aux Noix, an island in the Richelieu River, near Lake Champlain. The British had a fort there that became Fort Lennox.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

Staff member
Moderator
Sponsor
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
3,052
Points
578

The British had plans to build a squadron on lake Champlain in 1815 however only one transport the Champlain and two heavy armed gun boats were built the Caustic and the Axman
Because these were British built vessels any information is held in the National Archives of Canada.

to find historical information you need to search the national archives and British naval records for Isle aux Noix a French fort taken over by the British. The master shipwright John Goudie was the man in charge of building 11 gunboats, 1 transport, 2 brigs and 3 frigates. Two of the gunboats were designed to carry heavy guns thse two were the Caustic and Axman which were built the other 9 never got finished before orders came down from Kingston to stop construction.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

Staff member
Moderator
Sponsor
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
3,052
Points
578

there is an on going archaeological work at the shipyard where the Caustic was built. i think it is being done by Parks Canada.

also there are records of John Goudie in the Canadian archives who built the Caustic

the Caustic saw action on the lakes but after the war of 1812 it was pulled ashore and housed over. it became to expensive to keep the gunboats in preservation so they were sold out of service. it can be traced through records who bought the gunboats and what they paid for them. For the size, the Caustic was very heavy built because it was designed to carry 3 big heavy guns. It was reported you could not fire all 3 guns broadside at once because the recoils would roll the boat over.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

Staff member
Moderator
Sponsor
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
3,052
Points
578

it is a long tedious job researching naval records held in national archives. In articles it was suggested the British were peeved over the loss of their ships at the battle of Lake Erie. So as a show of force the gunboats Caustic and Axman were built on lake Champlain as heavy armed vessels that could blow American brigs like the Oneida out of the water. So the very name Caustic suggested this time the British were not about to loose. The Caustic was a deterrent with big guns.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

Staff member
Moderator
Sponsor
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
3,052
Points
578

from what i read a 24 pound naval cannon was 9 1/2 feet long which was to long for gunboats. The carronade was perfect they packed a good punch but had a short range. a guy named Congreve the younger came up with the idea of a hybrid gun of the carronade and cannon and designed 12,18 and 24s that were 7 1/2 feet long. then Captain Grover of the east indian company redesigned the 24 to a 6 1/2 foot gun. Tests of the new gun proved less than impressive. After Grover came Blumefield he improved the heavy guns into long and short varieties. It was i think Blumefield who came up with the carronade/cannons design for small gunboats.
some records say the guns were Blumefield 24 short 6 1/2 feet and some say 32 short 7 1/2 foot.
Either way the guns were designed just for the gunboat class.
If you measure the guns on the original admiralty drawing they are short and fat my thought was these are Blumefields could be either special 24s or 32s
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

Staff member
Moderator
Sponsor
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
3,052
Points
578

naval guns are a subject all on their own some guys are really into the design and evolution of naval guns and can tell you much more on the subject.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

Staff member
Moderator
Sponsor
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
3,052
Points
578

The american gunboat program is covered in Howard Chapelle History of the Sailing Navy and there are several rigging drawings in the book. These vessels were quite simple so i suspect the rigging Chapelle shows can be used for any of the gunboats. Other than Chapelle i have nothing.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2015
Messages
2,008
Points
538

Location
Pewaukee, Wisconsin
The american gunboat program is covered in Howard Chapelle History of the Sailing Navy and there are several rigging drawings in the book. These vessels were quite simple so i suspect the rigging Chapelle shows can be used for any of the gunboats. Other than Chapelle i have nothing.

I thought you might say something like that! ;) This info seems hard to come by!
 
Top