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  • In the Royal Navy, a sailing frigate mounting 32 to 44 guns with the main battery on a single deck. Fifth-rate ships acted as fast scouts or independent cruisers and included a variety of gun arrangements; they had crews of 215 to 294 men. To be posted aboard a Fifth-rate ship was considered an attractive assignment. Fifth-raters were often assigned to interdict enemy shipping--meaning the prospect of prize money for the crew.

    December 4, 2007