Le Commerce de Marseille

Nominal Guns118E-WIKI
NationalityRoyaume de France
OperatorMarine Royale
Keel Laid Down9.1786FWAS1786
First Commissioned10.1790E-WIKI
How acquiredPurpose builtE-WIKI
ShipyardToulon - Provence E-WIKI
Ship ClassCommerce de Marseille Class
Designed by Jacques-Noël Sané (1740-1831)E-WIKI
CategoryFirst RateE-WIKI
National RatePremier Rang
Ship TypeShip of the Line
Sailing RigShip Rigged
BecomesBritish First Rate ship of the line 'Commerce de Marseilles' (1793) (120)


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentNNF-1774
Length of Gundeck196' 6"French Feet (Pied du Roi)63.6625 (208′ 10″ Imperial)
Length of Keel178' 0"French Feet (Pied du Roi)57.8144 (189′ 8″ Imperial)
Breadth51' 0"French Feet (Pied du Roi)16.5648 (54′ 4″ Imperial)
Depth in Hold25' 0"French Feet (Pied du Roi)8.12 (26′ 7″ Imperial)
Draught Forward23' 0"French Feet (Pied du Roi)7.4704 (24′ 6″ Imperial)
Draught Aft24' 0"French Feet (Pied du Roi)7.7952 (25′ 6″ Imperial)
Displacement5,140French Tonneaux5032.3397 


7.8.1788Broadside Weight = 1368 French Livre (1476.3456 lbs 669.636 kg)W006
Lower Gun Deck32 French 36-Pounder
Middle Gun Deck34 French 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck34 French 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck/Forecastle6 French 36-Pounder Obusier
Quarterdeck/Forecastle18 French 8-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
17861,117 FWAS1786
1786780Peace time complementFWAS1786
6.17861,119Design Complement

Service History

29.8.1793Siege of Toulon


Previous comments on this page

Posted by F.F. on Sunday 18th of June 2017 03:41

These data are almost perfect.

196 French feet and 6 French inches are 63.83 m (209'5"). Beam was 50 French feet (16.24 m, 53'3½"). Depth of hold, 25 French feet (8.12 m, 26'7¾"). Draught of water, from 23 French feet and 5 inches to 25 French feet and 1 inch (7.61/8.15 m, 24'11½"/26'8¾").

Dislacement was really 5140 "tonneaux de poids" (5032t).

Measurments were different according to the British Navy; for example, beam was measured without planking in the French Navy, but with planking in the British Navy.
According to the Royal Navy (William Laird Clowes & Clement Robert Markham, The Royal Navy : a history from the earliest times to the present, volume 4, London, Sampson Low & Marston, 1897, page 154), the Commerce de Marseilles gun-deck lenght was 208'4" (63.50 m);  her keel lenght, 172'⅛" (52.43 m); her beam, 54'9½" (16,70 m); her depth of hold, 25'½" (7.63 m). 2747 tons burthen (27.468 cubic feet of hold, or 7778 ㎥).

Posted by Brian on Thursday 30th of March 2017 21:54

At Toulon, a short time ago, was launched the Commerce de Marseilles, a fine ship of 120 guns presented to Louis the sixteenth by the merchants of Marseilles. Her guns are all on three decks, none on the poop or forecastle; and she is so constructed that her complete broadside of sixty guns, can be brought at the same time to bear on a single object; an advantage deserving the consideration of those in whom, with us, the department of constructing men of war lies...source Gazette of the United States New York May 22, 1790 page 464.

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