This is HMS Victory, of over 100 guns, a typical “first-rate” line-of-battle warship of the late 18th century. As a rule, ships of the line were of 74 guns and over. They were designed to be used in fleets, against other ships of the line. During the Napoleonic wars, Britain kept over a hundred vessels like this in service. To support these main line battleships, there were also many frigates (roughly 30-50 guns) used for patrol, escort, blockade, raiding and cruising. The American USS Constitution, was a frigate, albeit a very powerful and advanced one. Smaller ships, like corvettes, were for scouting, picket duty, and for carrying dispatches and relaying flag signals.
“they built ships of the line.” John Ruskin
Take it all in all, a Ship of the Line is the most honorable thing that man, as a gregarious animal, has ever produced. By himself, unhelped, he can do better things than ships of the line; he can make poems and pictures, and other such concentrations of what is best in him. But as a being living in flocks, and hammering out, with alternate strokes and mutual agreement, what is necessary for him in those flocks, to get or produce, the ship of the line is his first work. Into that he has put as much of his human patience, common sense, forethought, experimental philosophy, self-control, habits of order and obedience, thoroughly wrought handwork, defiance of brute elements, careless courage, careful patriotism, and calm expectation of the judgment of God, as can well be put into a space of 300 feet long by 80 broad. And I am thankful to have lived in an age when I could see this thing so done.