This type of 10 meters long armed
launch was used by the different navies during the 19th century. These
launches were armed with naval guns of different calibre and type; in
the bow section a cannon or carronade was installed while in the stern
two more light, small cannons were placed to be aimed by hand.
boats were employed in coastal patrols or in escort services but, also
demonstrated their wartime capacity in surprise actions attacking
craft in difficulty or anchored or at roadstead. Due to their
remarkable manoeuvrability, they were also in great numbers employed
during landing actions, preceeding the main fleet which moved slower
and was more vulnerable.
The bow cannon, placed on a wooden structure,
attached to the first benches, slid back and forth, recoiling on two
slits made on the two carrying guides and was manoeuvred by two
forward and aft placed tackles. The marksman occupied himself to raise
the cannon while the helmsman was responsible to align the bow at the
target. Mast and sail during the surprise actions were lowered on the
benches to proceed and use the oars and to delay as long as possible
the interception from the part of the enemy.