H.M.S. Challenger - In 1872, the British Navy made a 2,306-ton corvette, the H.M.S. Challenger, available to the Royal Society for a 3-1/2 year study of the oceans of the world. She was fitted with auxiliary steam power in addition to her sails. The world's first oceanographic research vessel sailed 68,890 miles in 3-1/2 years, doing research in all oceans except the Arctic. She was 200 feet long, had a beam of 38 feet, and her speed was 10 knots maximum on best day. H.M.S. Challenger was a full-rigged, spar-decked corvette with auxiliary steam power of 1,234 horsepower.
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