Number Five: HMCS Bonaventure
You’ve got to love the “Bonnie”. The Brits started building her during the war but she was unfinished until we paid to have her completed with all the latest updates and modifications. It was the last time the RCN had a really serious ship and at her peak it was probably the most efficient (that is to say deadly and by deadly I mean lethal to submarines) carrier of her size in the world. Navies, like all the armed services, exist to support foreign policy, having a real navy lets you do that, otherwise it’s all just messing around in boats.

Commissioned: 1957
Displacement: 16,000 tons
Length: 629.9 ft (192 m)
Beam: 79.9 ft (24.4 m)
Draught: 24.5 ft (7.5 m)
Engines: 40,000 shp (30 MW)
Speed: 24.5 knots (45.4 km/h)
Complement: 1,200 (1,370 war)
Armament: 4 x 3 inch (2 barreled) guns,
8 x Bofors 40 mm guns
Aircraft Carried: MD F2h-3 Banshee jet fighters, Grumman CS2F Tracker ASW,   
                           SeaKing Helicopters

Number Four: HMS Vanguard
 Everybody’s list of their top five favorite ships should include at least one battleship and this is mine. The last best battleship. Built just in time to be of no use in the Second World War, she was the biggest battleship ever built for the Royal Navy. As well as being graceful she was immensely seaworthy and who cares if her guns were thirty years old and the whole idea of Battleships had become obsolete sometime around 1935, Vanguard is still one of my favorites.

Commissioned: 1946
Displacement: 50,000 tons
Length: 814 ft 6 in (248.3m)
Beam: 107 ft 7 in (32.79 m)
Draught: 30 ft 6 in (9.3 m)
Propulsion: 130,000 shp (97 MW)
Speed: 30 knots (60 km/h)
Range: 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km)
Complement: 1,500
Armament: 8 x 15 inch guns, hundreds of 40mm Bofors AA guns
Armour: Up to 13 in (330 mm)

Number Three: HMS Black Swan
 It’s really this whole class of ships and the idea of ‘sloops’ that I like (although “Black Swan” really is a cool name). It was these little boats that fought the WWII battle of the Atlantic against the U-boats. With all due respect to our revered corvettes it was these properly built warships that were really needed. You can’t help but think that a few less battleships and twenty or thirty more sloops would have made all the difference at the beginning of the war. You see this time and time again in naval history where the ‘big’ navy is built at the expense of the little guys that end up doing most of the real fighting when war comes along. Even today some kind of modern sloop would be great for patrolling our coasts, chasing pirates and doing the hundred and one jobs of a navy.

Commissioned: 1938
Displacement: 1,250 tons
Length: 299 ft 6 in (91.29 m)
Beam: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
Draught: 11 ft (3.4 m)
 Propulsion: 3,600 hp (2.68 MW)
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h)
Range: 7,500 nm (13,900 km)
Complement: 180
Armament: 6 × 4-inch (102 mm)
                   4 × 2 pdr AA pom-pom
                   4 × 0.5-inch (12.7 mm) AA

Number Two: HMCS St. Laurent
 I’m talking about a whole class of ships here, not just St. Laurent but also all the other ships of this type that were Canadian designed and Canadian made for Canadian requirements. We will not see the like of this class of “Destroyer Escorts” again. Aside from the minor detail that they were so much better then their American and British counterparts the most important thing about this class was their ability to be re-built and re-equipped. They started out as gun armed ASW ‘boats’ and ended up as something more like modern helicopter equipped multi-purpose frigates. You can’t begin to list all the firsts associated with these ships, let’s just say they were world-class ships and one of my favorites.
In Service: 1955
Displacement: 3000 tons
Length: 371 feet (113.1 m)
Beam: 42 feet (12.8 m)
Draught: 14 feet (4.3 m)
Propulsion: 30,000 shp
Speed: 28.5 knots (52.8 km/h)
Range: 4,750 nautical miles
Complement: 249
Armament:  1 x 3" twin mounts guns
2 x 40mm "Boffin" single mount guns
1 x Mk NC 10 Limbo ASW mortars
2 x triple Mk.32 12.75 inch torpedo launchers
Aircraft carried: 1 x CH-124 Sea King

Number One: M.M. Giuseppe Garibaldi
 In some ways this is my favorite ship. It’s a small carrier, a harrier-carrier if you will and people tend to look down their noses at them. They seem kind of lame in comparison to a big-deck full service aircraft carrier, but that’s the wrong comparison. Don’t think of getting some mega-carrier (which you can’t afford anyway) but rather consider getting one of these guys instead of two or three frigates (which is more like what they cost, and more like what you can afford). These guys can "carry out anti-submarine warfare, command and control of naval and aero-naval forces, area surveillance, convoy escort, commando transportation, and fleet logistic support”, let’s see two or three frigates do that! I’m sorry the Canadian Navy doesn’t have one or two of these ‘boats’, we could use them, and at least right now, it’s my favorite ship.

Commissioned: 1985
Displacement: 13,000 tons
Length: 180.2 m
Beam: 30.4 m
Draught:  8.2 m
Propulsion: 82,000 hp
Speed: 30+ knots
Range: 7000 nautical miles
Complement: 825
Armament: 2 × Mk.29 octuple launcher for Sea Sparrow SAM
3 × Oto Melara Twin 40 mm
2 × 324 mm triple torpedo tubes
Aircraft: Up to 16 aircraft,
AV-8B Harrier II fighter/bombers
And/or AugustaWestland EH101 helicopters (ASW, ASH and AEW)