A swift and magnificent vessel, HMS Royal Charles, in all her incarnations, had a service life that spanned well over a century. Modified in 1693, she was renamed the HMS Queen. Later, in 1715, her salvaged parts were used to build the HMS Royal George, a ship that remained in service until her sinking at Spithead anchorage in 1783.
Completed in Portsmouth, England, 1673, during the second Dutch War, HMS Royal Charles was the second built in a trio of 100-gun first-rate ships designed and constructed by Sir Anthony Deane. Structurally almost identical to the first built of the three 100-gun ships (the HMS Royal James), the Royal Charles was nonetheless strikingly different in her outward appearance. The new ship introduced elegant rows of windows and projecting galleries, even a balcony projecting forward from the quarter-gallery. A look likely inspired from the French fleet, it became a trend that would be carried into the design of future ships. The most dramatic change lay in the design of the figurehead. Gone was the standard single-entity sculpture and in its place was an ornately decorated high relief grouping. It depicted a helmeted warrior charging bravely into battle, his chariot drawn by two racing horses. At his side stood the driver and an armed escort. Intricately carved, baroque in detail, it heralded a new age of art in shipbuilding.
Initiated in the early 1990's, Jim's sailboat was reconstructed from a Dutch steel-hulled sailing vessel. James added the bowsprit, aft cabin, additional mast, and massive sculptural ornamentation. The vessel is currently owned by Fred Banke and undergoing a complete rebuild. Follow this link for early photographs of this vessel, as well as his launch Duchess:
Jim Flood's sailing vessel Royal Charles.