Nautical, a Spanish gunboat mostly employed against smugglers; a coast-guard vessel.(noun)
The Century Dictionary (Public Domain)
Use "guarda-costa" in a sentence
"That's how we come to have delayed until this Spanish fleet is fetched round from La Guayra by a guarda-costa; and if ye hadn't lost La Foudre, and so reduced our fleet from three ships to two, we should even now be able to fight our way through with a reasonable hope of succeeding."
""You are thankful he did not sight a guarda-costa.""
"He ran past the guarda-costa, drawing her fire, but no great harm done; shot up under the sterns of the two prizes, that were lying not two hundred yards apart; and raked 'em with half-a-broadside apiece -- no time, you see, to reload between."