The gunboat Eber is an improved vessel of the Wolf type, but differs from other vessels of its class in that it has not a complete iron hull, only the frame and deck beams being of iron, while the planking is of wood and yellow metal. No copper is used on the bottom. The "composite system" of building is looked upon with favor for ships of this kind, because iron vessels which are kept permanently at stations in the tropics soon become overgrown in spite of good care, and thus suffer a great loss of speed. In a wooden vessel the crew's quarters are better and more healthful than in iron vessels, for they are not as much affected by the temperature outside of the ship.
The greatest length of the Eber is about 245 ft.; its breadth, 26 ft.; its depth, 14 ft.; and it has a displacement of about 500 tons. The armament will consist of three long 5 in. guns in center pivot carriages, and a small number of revolvers. One of the former will be placed at the stern on the quarter deck, and the two others on the forecastle. Some of the revolvers will be on the quarter deck and some on the forecastle, care being taken to arrange the guns so as to obtain the widest possible range, thus enabling the ship to protect itself perfectly.
THE NEW GERMAN GUNBOAT EBER.
The Eber is provided with a two-cylinder, compound engine, which can generate 650 horse power, giving the vessel a speed of 11½ knots. The coal bunkers are so large that the ship can travel 3,000 miles at a speed slightly less than that just mentioned without requiring a fresh supply of coal. The rigging is the same as in iron vessels of the Wolf class, and the sails are sufficiently large to allow the vessel to proceed without steam. The ship will carry about 90 men, including officers, crew, engineers, and firemen.
A sum of $145,000 was appropriated for the construction and equipment of the Eber, which was begun at Kiel in the latter part of 1885, and was launched February 15, 1887.--Illustrirte Zeitung.