The Superbe was a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the French Navy built in Brest over 2 years and launched in 1784.
Her architect was the famous Jacques-Noël Sané. Her design was typical of the ships of the French fleet of the time; three-masted with two decks, open galleries, a copper-sheated hull and extreme maneuverability, 700 men were needed to run her. It was a period of great battles against the British fleet and during the 3 decades following the launching of such ships, many were captured by the British Navy. Sané’s talent and the quality of her design was confirmed as her characteristics became common in the design of enemy ships. The British naval Historian William James said about one of her kind ‘not only was she the biggest and the most beautiful ship that ever sailed but despite her great size she was as maneuverable as a frigate’.
In 1795 she took part in a French winter naval campaign (‘Campaign of the Great Winter’) where she sank due to a leak.