The Dapper class was designed by W.H. Walker (who also designed the preceding Gleaner class and the subsequent Albacore class). The ships were wooden-hulled, with steam power as well as sails, but of shallow draft for coastal bombardment in the shallow waters of the Baltic and Black Sea during the Crimean War.
Ten ships had two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion trunk steam engines built by John Penn and Sons, with two boilers. The other ten had two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion direct-acting steam engines built by Maudslay, Sons and Field, with three boilers. Both versions provided 60 nominal horsepower through a single screw, sufficient for 7.5 knots (13.9 km/h; 8.6 mph).
Ships of the class were armed with one 68-pounder smooth bore muzzle loading cannon (SBML), one 32-pounder SBML (originally two 68-pounder SBMLs were planned but the forward gun was substituted by a 32-pounder) and two 24-pounder howitzers.
|Name||Ship builder||Engine builder||Launched||Fate|
|Lark||Deptford Dockyard||Maudslay||15 March 1855||Sold to Marshall for breaking at Plymouth on 18 July 1878|
|Magpie||Deptford Dockyard||Maudslay||15 March 1855||Wrecked in Galway Bay on 8 April 1864|
|Dapper||R & H Green, Blackwall Yard||Penn||31 March 1855||Training hulk 1885, cooking depot 1897, renamed YC37 in 1909, sold to Perry 10 May 1922|
|Fancy||R & H Green, Blackwall Yard||Penn||31 March 1855||Hulked as part of the St Vincent training establishment in 1876, being used as a laundry/drying room. Sold at Portsmouth on 11 July 1905|
|Grinder||J & R White, West Cowes||Maudslay||7 March 1855||Broken up at Haslar on 15 July 1864|
|Jasper||J & R White, West Cowes||Maudslay||2 April 1855||Grounded in action at the Siege of Taganrog on 23 July 1855|
|Hind||John Jenkins Thompson, Rotherhithe||Maudslay||3 May 1855||Broken up at Devonport in October 1872|
|Jackdaw||John Jenkins Thompson, Rotherhithe||Maudslay||18 May 1855||Became a cooking depot in 1868 and sold to C Wort in November 1888|
|Thistle||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Penn||3 February 1855||Completed breaking at Deptford on 11 November 1863|
|Starling||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Penn||1 February 1855||Sold at Hong Kong on 1 December 1871|
|Snap||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Penn||3 February 1855||Sold at Hong Kong in 1868 and then resold to the Japanese as the warship Kaku-ten-shan, then became Snap again in 1872 as a merchantman|
|Redwing||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Maudslay||19 March 1855||Became tender to the training ship Cambridge at Devonport in 1857, sold on 2 December 1878|
|Weazel||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Penn||19 March 1855||Sold at Hong Kong on 18 November 1869|
|Clinker||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Penn||2 April 1855||Sold to Castle for breaking at Charlton on 6 June 1871|
|Cracker||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Maudslay||2 April 1855||Broken up in April 1864|
|Boxer||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Penn||7 April 1855||Broken up at Malta in October 1865|
|Stork||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Maudslay||7 April 1855||Coal hulk in 1874, sold for breaking April 1884|
|Skylark||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Penn||3 May 1855||Gunnery tender in 1884, sold to Garnham for breaking on 10 July 1906|
|Biter||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Penn||5 May 1855||Became a coal hulk on 21 April 1865, later renamed C16. Sold to Castle, Woolwich for breaking on 12 April 1904|
|Swinger||W & H Pitcher, Northfleet||Maudslay||10 May 1855||Broken up on 6 September 1864|