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Clipper Sailing Ships

Much of the information on this page comes from
THE COLONIAL CLIPPERS by Basil Lubbock
 
Clipper Sailing Ships
 
The Power of Gold
Emigrant Ships to Australia in the Forties.
Report on Steerage Conditions in 1844.
The Discovery of Gold in Australia
Melbourne and its Shipping 1851-2
 
Aviemore 
Blue Jacket
Centurion 
Champion of the Seas 
Cutty Sark
Donald Mackay
Ethiopian
Heather Bell 
James Baines
Jerusalem 
John Bunyan
Maid of Judah
Nineveh
Orient 
Red Jacket
Schimberg
Thyatira 
 
Walter Hood
White Star
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tall Ships 2007 Wall Calendar

 

 

THE “DONALD MACKAY”

 

The Donald Mackay, last of the famous Mackay quartette, was for many years the largest sailing ship in the world, her measurements being:

 

Registered Tonnage

2408 tons

Gross

2486 tons

Net

1616 tons

Length of Keel

257.9 ft

Length between Perpendiculars

266 ft

Breadth

46.3 ft

Depth

29.5 ft

Dead rise at Half-Floor

18 ins

Mainyard

100 ft

Sail Area

17,000 sq yds

 

A novelty in her sail plan was Forbes’ patent double topsail yards. These came out before Howe’s, and differed from them in having the topmasts fidded abaft the lower mast.

Donald Mackay was said to have the heaviest mainmast out of Liverpool. It was a built mast of pitch pine, heavily banded with iron, weighing close on 20 tons. She was, of course, a three-decker; and as a figure-head she had a Highlander dressed in the tartan of the Mackays. In design she took after the Champion of the Seas, being not so sharp-ended as the Lightning or James Baines. Captain Warner left the Sovereign of the seas to take her, and superintended her fitting out.

Leaving Boston on 21st February, 1855, she made Cape Clear only 12 days out. One 27th February her log records: “First part a strong gale from N.W.; middle part blowing a hurricane from W.N.W., ship scudding under topsails and foresail at the rate of 18 knots; latter part still blowing from W.N.W. with heavy hail squalls and very high sea running.”

Under these conditions she made a run of 421 miles in the 24 hours, She made the Fastnet Rock on the 6th of March, distant one mile, it blowing a gale from S.E. to E.N.E., her run for the day being 299 miles. But in the Channel her passage was spoilt by strong easterly winds, and she did not receive her pilot off Point Lynas until Saturday, the 10th.

Donald Mackay himself came over in the ship, and on his arrival expressed himself highly satisfied with her. She was at once put on the berth for Melbourne, but did not leave Liverpool until 6th June, and thus had a light weather passage south, being spoken on 14th July in 12degrees S., 38 days out. She left Melbourne again on 3rd of October, arriving in Liverpool on 28th of December, 1855, 86 days out, and bringing 104,000 ounces of gold consigned to the Bank of France.

Donald Mackay’s times on the Australian run, though never very remarkable, were very consistent, her average for six consecutive outward passages being 88 days. And I find her making a passage out to Hobson’s bay in 1867 in 84 days. She once took 1000 troops from Portsmouth to Mauritius in 70 days.

 
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10/04/2006