Capital ships each carried two vessels like STEAM PINNACE 199 for use as guard boats and for offensive use in shallow waters. In 1914 the Navy List indicated 634 of these craft afloat. They were each armed with a 3-pdr gun, a Maxim gun and rifles, plus 14" diameter torpedoes and were capable of 12 knots. There is evidence to suggest that 199 was associated with the ‘super-dreadnought’ H.M.S. MONARCH.
Builit in 1911, her original gun was lost, but she now boasts a Hotchkiss 3-pounder gun built in 1887 and salvaged from the sea by a trawler in 1980. Although the inside of the barrel is corroded, it has been restored to a good external appearance. Pinnaces armed with Hotchkiss guns were often used as picket boats patrolling capital ship anchorages. Their ability to move and fire at speed made them an excellent defence against the torpedo boat threat at the turn of the 19th Century.
Where is she now?
STEAM PINNACE 199 is still afloat and is part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s collection at Portsmouth.
Brouwer, Norman J. ( 1993) International Register of Historic Ships -
Steamboat Register: An illustrated Register of surviving steam vessels in the British Isles (1994)