Attention all naval interested Dopers: What's the most attractive naval vessel, ever

I was just looking at some pictures of the USS Des Moines on her way to the breakers. I can understand why she’d not been picked up as a museum ship, especially with a sister ship already as a museum. However I happen to feel, looking at her, that she’s possibly the most beautiful USN warship ever. And makes for a nice runner-up to the Kreigsmarine’s Prinz Eugen* for the world title.
Do any other dopers care to speak up about their favorite naval vessels? (Based on aesthetics, not necessarily combat prowess.)

My personal short list include the following:

USS Des Moines

Prinz Eugen



By no means do I think this is an exhaustive list, nor authoratative. Just my own tastes.
*Yes, I know that Prinz Eugen was for a short year the USS Prinz Eugen, on her way to Operation Crossroads, but I really have trouble thinking of her, even then, as a USN vessel.

USS Constitution is right up there.

I also like the looks of the Bismarck, and most of the other WWII era battleships.

I think the most beautiful battleship class was from Italy,

Wiki Link

Sleek, relatively uncluttered and deadly looking.

The Vasa, although a disaster in how she was designed and fitted out, is an absolutely gorgeous ship to behold.

Just for idle conversation:

I actually saw the Prinz Eugen, or more to the point what was left of her, when I went to Kwajalein. They had a whole maritime museum with a beautiful scale model of her.

Anyway, I have always been fond of the Iowa-class battleships. I also like the elegance of the Los Angeles and Ohio-class submarines.

Lucky dog. (Of course, I got to tour the Wisconsin while she was still in comission, so…)

(blinks) Elegance? Los Angeles class, or Ohio class? Crimped off gutter pipe is crimped off gutter pipe. (grinning) Seriously, I know why naval architects went to the Albacore type hulls, but I find them about as interesting as modern automobile design - the constraints of building for silent running have left the modern submarine about as interesting as dog poop to me. Aesthetically. (Now talk to me about natural circ reactor plants…)

The HMS Victory should certainly be in the list.

I also like the HMS Dreadnought but mostly due to the fact that it was a revolutionary design at the time and the HMS Hood but a lot of that is to do with her story.

…sorry for the Wiki links, but the photos they have tend to be good

The nicest navy ship I’ve ever seen was one of those minesweepers we had built in Wisconsin when were were keeping the Gulf clear for the re-flagged oil tankers during the Iran-Iraq war. It was mostly wood to protect agianst magnetic mines, so it was nice and cool and quiet inside, and looked like the inside of a log cabin compared to the steel pipe and sheet metal ship I was living in at the time. And it had a small, laid-back crew, so the place was a mess like a college dorm.

The Iowa class battleships look a bit odd from above. They have kind of a skinny prow and a fat stern. On the other hand, they are pretty much the most deadly battleships ever. Here are some photos, there’s a good overhead shot at the bottom.

Not the prettiest ship in the Nacy, but I have a special fondness for Oklahoma City CLG-5 because that was the ship I most closely associate with my dad.

I’ve always found Enterprise CVN-65 to be an attractive ship.

My google-fu is lacking this morning and I couldn’t find a decent photo; but Cousteau’s Calypso is a pretty vessel. I grew up watching The Undersea World Of Jacques Cousteau, so the ship is special to me. (Incidental to Slithy Tove’s post, Calypso also was a wooden minesweeper. She was built in Seattle during WWII.)

I lean towards all the classics Sailing Ships with the Yankee Clippers towards the top with the Hudson River Sloops.

Of the Steel War Ships I like the looks of the USS New Jersey BB-62.


RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 may count as naval, having served as a troop transport during the Falkands unpleasantness.

HMS Warrior,

I once drank vodka out of a girls belly button (she looked like Rebecca Romjin).

Fletcher class destoyers.

USS Lamoure County LST-1194

My home for almost 5 years.

What’s that thing sticking up on the bow - it looks like a staircase!

Derrick arms for raising and lowering the bow ramp.

The LaMoure County was a utilitarian vessel. I would not call her attractive in any way.

And I did a six-month deployment in company with her in 1996, and knew a lot of her crewmembers well, so it isn’t as if I don’t respent LSTs or their crews. But an ungainly looking thing is an ungainly looking thing, even if it gets the job done.

The new Arleigh Burke destroyers, on the other hand, are lovely things.


I have to agree with **Mr. Moto ** on both his points on this one.


I have to say, too, that what happened to the LaMoure County was a crying shame.

Basically, by the end of her long career she was only being used for the annual UNITAS exercise with South American naval forces, which is when I worked with her. It was during this cruise in 2000 that she ran aground in Chile.

She was towed to Talcahuano, a major Chilean port, where it was determined that repairs would not be economically feasible. She never saw American waters again.

She was stripped of all usable equipment and sensitive material, and during the UNITAS exercise the following year she was towed to sea and used as a gunnery target. She’s now below more than 1800 fathoms of blue Pacific.

Better than being turned into Gillette products, but sad nevertheless.