(formerly Maria di Amparo, Ferreira, Cutty Sark)
Clipper (3m). L/B/D: 212.5 × 36 × 21 (64.8m × 11m × 6.4m). Tons:
963 grt. Hull: composite. Comp.: 19-28. Des.:
Hercules Linton. Built: Scott, Linton & Co., Dumbarton, Scotland;
Cutty Sark was built for John Willis to be the fastest clipper on the China
Cutty Sark was launched at Dumbarton on the Clyde on Monday 22nd November
1869. She was recorded to have reached speeds of 17 and a half knots, her best
day's run is recorded at 363 miles, averaging 15 knots, and on one occasion she
sailed 2,164 miles in six days and on another 3457 in eleven days.
She worked the China tea routes from 1870 until 1877, then for the next five
years she carried general cargo. In 1885 she began the Australian wool trade,
and it was on this hard route that she proved she was the fastest ship of her
time, with a passage from Newcastle in New South Wales to Deal in Kent in only
82 days. In 1895 she was sold to the Portuguese and twenty seven years later, in
Falmouth, was seen and purchased by Captain Wilfred Dowman, returning again to
the British flag.
After some restoration, she was donated to HMS Worcester as a training vessel
for cadets at Greenhithe, and in 1953 was handed over as a gift to the Cutty
Sark Preservation Society. The Preservation Society began major restoration
works, and sited her in a dry-dock designed and built specially to receive her.
In June 1957 she was formally opened to members of the public by HM The Queen.