Previous names

  • 1883 - 1891 HMS Handy
  • 1891 - 1916 HMS Excellent
  • 1916 - 1917 HMS Calcutta
  • 1917 Demon
Certificate no 16
Status Archived


Function Fighting Vessel
Subfunction Gunboat
Location NONE
Archive reason Disposed
Current use None
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Armstrong, W G Mitchell & Co Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne
Built in 1882
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Steam
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Steam compound
Boiler type Scotch Return Tube
Boilermaker S Hodge & Sons, Millwall
Boiler year 1883
Boiler fuel coal


Breadth: Beam
36.98 feet (11.28 m)
7.67 feet (2.34 m)
Length: Overall
118.92 feet (36.27 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


Built in 1883 by C Mitchell & Co. of Newcastle upon Tyne, DEMON is an iron hulled vessel designed as a floating test bed for guns produced by Armstrongs of Elswick. She has a steam compound engine, makers unknown. She was purchased by the Admiralty late in 1883 and was sent to the Whale Island Gunnery School in 1891 where she was renamed HMS EXCELLENT, then HMS CALCUTTA in 1917 and subsequently HMS SNAPPER. Her career after this is less clear but either in 1922 or 1929 she was sold to the Dover Harbour Board, converted to a floating crane and it is believed that she was renamed DEMON at this time. Pounds acquired the vessel in 1971 or 1972, demolished the crane, but retained the hull and machinery.


Sullivan, Dick, Old Ships, Boats and Maritime Museums, Coracle Books, 1978 
Steamboat Register: An illustrated Register of surviving steam vessels in the British Isles, Steam Boat Association of Great Britain, Edition 6, May 1994    

Key dates

  • 1938 Vessel launched and exhibited at the London Boat Show

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