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French 4-pdr Corvette 'La Sardoine' 1757 (with plans)

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La Sardoine


French 4-pdr Corvette

12-18 guns


Built by J.-L. Coulomb in Nantes.

Captured in 1761 by the British 5th-Rate brig-sloop HMS Alarm (32 guns + 12 swivel-guns, 1758) and renamed HMS Sardoine.


La Sardoine as taken off, prior to fitting as a 14-gun ship sloop



Plan showing the quarterdeck, forecastle, upper deck, and after platforms and magazine for La Sardoine


Second plan of La Sardoine as taken off, prior to fitting as a 14-gun ship sloop. Note that there are no waterlines represented on this one.


Historical armament :

  • As she's been pierced by 18 portholes since French building, she could carry up to 18 x 4-pdr + swivel guns. and nothing excludes such an armament during war time.
  • Known armament from sources :
    • French service : 
      • Built with 12 x 4-pdr (Boudriot, Historique de la Corvette)
      • 14 x 4-pdr + 6 Swivel guns (31 pds) (threedecks.org)
    • British service :
      • 14 x 4-pdr (Ian McLaughlhan, Sloop of War 1650-1763)
      • 14 × 4-pdr + 10 ½-pdr Swivel guns (30, 5 pds) (threedecks.org)

Suggestion for in-game armament : 12-18 x 4-pdr (giving a broadside weight = 24-36 pds), filling the 'gap' between in-game Lynx (8 x 6-pdr = 24 pds) and the Pickle / Privateer / Cutter (12 x 6-pdr = 36 pds). 


Nota : a 'sardoine' (sard or sardius in English) is a 'yellow or brownish-red semi-precious stone consisting of a variety of chalcedony'.



  • Dimensions of 4-pdr Corvettes (16 guns) made by Coulomb in the same year (see below) (pieds du Roi) :
    • Length between perpendiculars : 100'
    • Breadth overall to outside of frame : 25'
    • Depth in hold from top of the keel to the line of the deck at the middle line : 12, 6'
  • Dimensions of La Sardoine (before British refit) from threedecks.org (pieds du Roi) :
    • Length of gundeck : 91'0"
    • Breadth : 23'6"
    • Depth in hold : 9'6"
    • Displacement : c. 300 ton
    • Burthen : 165 ton
  • Dimensions of HMS Sardoine (after refit) from threedecks.org (imperial feet) :
    • Length of gundeck : 94' 4 ½ "
    • Length of keel : 78' 9 ¼ "
    • Breadth : 24' 8 ½ "
    • Depth in hold : 10' 1 ½ "
    • Burthen : 255 74/94 tons BM


Sources :


Extract of Ian McLauglhan's Sloop of War 1650-1763 about La Sardoine :

"[..] was built at Nantes to the design of Jacques-Luc Coulomb. She had four sisters;in fact the French Navy commisioned nine corvettes designed by Coulomb, most listed as 100ft lenght on deck.

[...] If the corvettes produced under the supervision of Blaise Ollivier appear extreme in hull design, they are nothing compared to Sardoine, whose sections exhibit an exaggerated version of the earlier designs. Sardoine was builit thirteen years later after La Palme and in addition to her highly developed hull, she was about 10ft longer and was pierced for nine guns a side, though armed with only twelve 4pdrs. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy at Portsmouth in 1761 and given an extra pair of 4pdrs.

The waterlines in the half-breadth plan provide a clear view of the remarkably fine ends of this vessel, particulary that of the run. Her sheer plan shows the French preference for only a light degree of rake at bow and stern, but there is exaggeration in that her sternpost is actually raked forwards, Like the earlier corvettes, she has a marked degree of tumblehome which may help stability by bringing the weight of the gguns closer to the centreline but at the same time it would have made their handling difficult, possibly reducing their rate of fire; it was also less effective at dampening rolling than more 'wall-sided' designs.

[...] She is shown with a raised quarterdeck and forecastle on the plan, which is dated April 1761 (ie before the prize was formally purchased), so these are probably as captured; the height underneath them is only 5ft aft and 4ft 6in forward."


Contemporary 4-pdr Corvettes built by J.- L. Coulomb (from Boudriot) :



Sister ships of La Sardoine according to threedecks.org : https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_class&id=535

  • L’Ecureuil (Nantes, 1756)
  • La Jacinthe (Brest, 1756) 
  • La Renoncule (Nantes, 1757)
  • L’Arc-en-ciel (?) (Brest, 1758) 

Voyages of La Sardoine

  • La Sardoine sailed for la Martinique. Later, captured by the British in the Bay of Biscay.
  • As HMS Sardoine, she then sailed for the West Indies and New York.


Thx to @Sella22 and @Surcouf for their help !!!!

Edited by LeBoiteux
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Stopover of La Sardoine in Martinique

15 oct. - 25 oct. 1758

Captain : Thibaut-René de Kergariou-Locmaria

(report by the marquis Beauharnais de Beaumont, Governor)

Extract :

"La Sardoine coming from Rochefort (France) (...) needed mast repair. Moreover, some crew members and a rowboat that had to stay at a small port on the Spanish coast were to be replaced and the corvette has not been able to leave for Saint-Domingue before tomorrow (...)".




Sources :




Edited by LeBoiteux
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Drawings of the decoration of La Jacinthe (or “La Hyacinthe”, 1756), sister ship of La Sardoine, drawn by Caffieri on 31 July 1756 are kept by the Archives de la Marine :

n° 729, D1 68, f° 17 cl. 7309.

I’d love to have a look at them some day !!! :)

Edited by LeBoiteux
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