The Panthers were a class of light frigates employed by the British Royal Navy in their attempts to rid the Caribbean of the scourge of piracy. This standardized design was light enough to pursue and catch pirate vessels, which tended to outpace the Navy with superior speed and agility. At the same time, they were also heavily armed, with eight guns on their decks and a further ten below. Members of this class garnered a bloody reputation among pirates for their capability to deliver devastating broadsides, even to vessels larger than themselves. These ships prowled the waters off Port Royal, protecting the fort and the town from incursions by pirates.