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The Queen Anne's Revenge was one of the most famous pirate frigates in the Caribbean.

"Explain to me, if you please, Mr. Sparrow, why the pirate captain of this frigate didn't take the entire cargo of rum?"
Cutler Beckett to Jack Sparrow[src]

A frigate was a type of warship. The term has been used for warships of many sizes and roles over the centuries. Frigates in the 18th century were usually square-rigged.


In the Age of Piracy, the term referred to ships which were as long as a ship of the line and were square-rigged on all three masts (full rigged), but were faster and with lighter armament. A ship could not be considered a frigate unless it had a single gundeck and either a forcastle and quarterdeck above, or a full topdeck over it. Larger ships with over one gundeck can be considered Great Frigates. Frigate was originally a long, narrow nautical vessel used on the Mediterranean Sea, propelled by either oars or sail or both. Later, during the 17th and early 18th century, the term was applied to a very fast vessel carrying 24 to 44 guns on a single flush gun deck. Frigates were employed by the European naval powers in large numbers as commerce raiders and for blockade duty but also for patrolling and escort.

Frigate Ratings[]

A Spanish Royal Navy privateer frigate.

Frigates were rated into two classes: fifth and sixth rates, with the very occasional fourth. Sixth rates carried 20-28 cannons, and fifth rates carried 32-44 cannons. Fourth rates (carrying 50-60 cannons) could be considered frigates if they had only one gundeck instead of two.

Notable Frigates[]

A pirate frigate sails from Padres Del Fuego.



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