Pickle as a Spy Ship

The current recreation of HMS Pickle, was built is Russia in 1995 but her size and shape are technically correct for the ‘Sting’ as stated clearly in her log book with ‘Sting’ becoming the HMS Pickle that served at Trafalgar. But did you know about Pickle as a Spy Ship for Admiral Nelson?

Plans of the vessel which would later become the HMS Pickle.

Plans of the vessel which would later become the HMS Pickle.

Chapman’s plans used for the St Petersburg vessels were known to be adapted from an early 1802 clever fast dispatch Tops’le Schooner and the only drawings available at that time were the ones taken by the Royal Navy of HMS Pickle before her refit in Hull’s Queens Dock…there were no others.

This was confirmed by Simon Layton who was skipper on HMS Pickle for the Trafalgar 200 commemorations, and recently by five historians as the friends collective, groundbreaking new evidence from David Bean confirming HMS Pickle sailed from Hull, frequently to Lisbon, Portugal.

During this time she was acting as a spy ship for Admiral Lord Nelson prior to The Battle of Trafalgar, reporting back positions of the French and Spanish fleets. HMS Pickle had whaling and fishing sails as well as her own as a disguise. Where else would they get sails like that other than Hull, one of the worlds foremost whaling and fishing ports.

With all this in mind I am left with no other conclusion that the hull and rigging are technically correct and the addition of cabins after removal of the 4’6”deck and an engine with navigation equipment is as near to HMS Pickle as this world has to offer.

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