In 1784, Captain Horatio Nelson was given command of the Boreas, a twenty-eight-gun frigate, with orders to enforce the British Navigation Act, which restricted trade in the British colonies to British ships. The act had become a major problem after the American Revolution because American vessels dominated trade between the West Indies and the former colonies. When Nelson seized four American ships that had violated the Navigation Act, the captains sued him for illegal seizure. Nelson spent eight months sequestered on his ship, waiting for the decision of the local court. The eventual decision was in favor of the British Navy.