As it happened, the ship was an astounding failure of design. Thanks to its odd shape, manuveribility was difficult and smooth-sailing was impossible, as the Novgorod was tossed about by even mild waves. The force of its own cannons was sufficient to spend the ship spinning in the water, and even the addition of special rudders couldn't fully correct the problem.
The ship proved to be wildly impractical in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877. In the end, the Novgorod was used infrequently as a coast patrol-boat, before finally being scrapped in 1912.
But don't take my word for it!