|Length:||161–182 ft (49–55 m)|
|Beam:||46 ft (14 m)|
|Draught:||23 ft (7 m)|
The "seventy-four" was a type of two-decked sailing
As a standard type, the seventy-four was only an ideal construction. There was great variation between seventy-fours of different navies. In the period 1750–1790, different ships could have displacements of anything at just under 2,000 tonnes up to 3,000 tonnes. The armament could also vary considerably, with everything from 24-pounder to long 36-pounder guns, and some seventy-fours of the
The first 74-gun ships were constructed by the French as they rebuilt their navy during the early years of the reign of
The 74-gun ship carried 28 (
Given the construction techniques of the day, the seventy-four approached the limits of what was possible. Such long hulls made from wood had a tendency to flex and sag over time. Increased maintenance could counter this to some extent, but this was of course costly. This limited the success of the even bigger two-deck 80-gun ships that were built in small numbers after the seventy-four had been introduced. Three-deckers did not have the same problem due to their additional deck giving more rigidity.
The significance of the 74s however is hard to overstate, as a summary of the ships of the line for all nations that were in commission at any time during the Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars period.