SAIL VOLUME I

                                                                                III  TEA CLIPPERS

            TAEPING (1863-1871), 767 registered tons, length 183ft 7in, beam 31ft 1in,
            depth 19ft 9in. Of composite(iron frame planked) construction, built by
            Robert Steele, Greenock, for Rodger & Co.  She was designed and built to
            be faster than FIERY CROSS which had been the leading clipper with the
            new season tea from China in 1861 and 1862.  In her maiden voyage in 1864,
            she arrived too late at the Pagoda anchorage to be among the first ships
            loaded with the new tea from Foochow.  In 1865, damage she had received
            in a typhoon again prevented her form being among the first ships. In 1866,
            she was among the first ships and in a tight race with ARIEL and SERICA -
            all three docked on the same tide in the Thames, 99days out. She shared the
            honours with ARIEL. In 1867, Taeping was home a week ahead of any other
            tea clipper after a passage of 103 days.  But SIR LANCELOT which arrived
            later had made the passage in 99 days.  In 1868, TAEPING, ARIEL and
            SIR LANCELOT left the Pagoda anchorage close together.  TAEPING was
            beaten by SPINDRIFT, ARIEL and SIR LANCELOT in a close finish. In
            1869, all records were broken by SIR LANCELOT's passage of 89 days and
            THERMOPYLAE's 91 days.  In 1871, TAEPING was wrecked on Ladd'sReef
            in the South China Seabound from Amoy to New York.  Steamers took over
            the tea trade from 1875.   

            ARIEL (1865 - 1872), 886 tons register, length 197ft 4in, beam 33ft 7in, depth 21ft.  
            Of composite (iron frame planked) construction, built by Robert Steele, Greenock,
            for Shaw, Maxton & Co.  Designed and built for the tea trade, she was among the
            leading ships in 1866 at the Pagoda anchorage. The first four leading ships away
            were FIERY CROSS, ARIEL, TAEPING and SERICA. As described above, the race
            to London became a close contest at the end between TAEPING and ARIEL, who
            with SERICA, all reached the Thames on the same tide 99 days out. In 1867, ARIEL
            was not in time to load among the leading ships. Eleven ships had departed before
            she got away but she overhauled ten of them except the leader TAEPING. In 1868,
            there was a close finish with SPINDRIFT beating ARIEL, SIR LANCELOT and
            TAEPING.  1n 1869, SIR LANCELOT and THERMOPYLAE broke all records
            reaching the Thames 81 and 91 days out respectively. ARIEL took 104 days.  In
            1870, becaus of a broken topmast in a typhoon and repairs in Yokohama meant
            that she could not be at the Pagoda anchorage in time.  She took instead a Japanese
            charter to New York.  In January 1972, she left London for Sydney and was listed as
            missing and not heard of again.  

            SIR LANCELOT (1865 - 1895), tonnage 886 gross 865 net, length 197ft 6in,
            beam 33ft 7in, depth 21ft.  Of composite (iron frame planked) construction,
            built by Rbert Steele, Greenock, for J. MacCunn. A sister ship of ARIEL.  
            On her maiden voyage to China in she was towed up the Yangtze to Hankow
            for a cargo of tea under charter with Jardine, Matheson & Co. On her second
            voyage in 1867, she was not in time to join the leaders at Foochow but loaded
            tea at Shanghai.  There were seveteen Foochow and Shanghai ships ahead of
            her but she managed to overhaul all but TAEPING.  Deal was made in 99 days
            - the passage of the year.   in 1868, as described above, she was beaten by
            SPINDRIFT and ARIEL  In 1869, she beat THERMOPYLAE to London
in a
            record 81 day passage
.  In 1870, she beat Thermopylae again in the race from
            Foochow to London.  In 1871 she took a cargo of tea from Shanghai to New
            York. In 1872, her passage home from Foochow was 122 days and in 1873 from
            Shanghai 127 days.  Her glory days were over.  In 1876 she was reduced to a
            barque. In 1895, she was sold to Persian owners.  In September, 1895, sailed
            from Muscat bound for Calcutta but never arrived.

                 THERMOPYLAE (1868 - 1907), tonnage 991 gross and 948 net, length 210ft, beam 36ft, depth21ft.  
                 Of composite (iron frame  planked) construction, designed by Bernard Waymouth (who had designed
                 LEANDER) and built byHood, Aberdeen, for  George Thompson of the Aberdeen White Star Line.  
                 On her maiden voyage she went Melbourne in a record 62 days from the Lizard and 63 days from
                 Gravesend. She carried coal to Shanghai.and was in time to be a lead ship at the Pagoda anchorage at
                 Foochow.  She departed Foochow in July 1869 with her first tea cargo and docked in London 91 days
                 out.  To her captain's annoyance this was put in the shade by SIR LANCELOT's later arrival 85 days out.  
                 THERMOPYLAE made eleven tea passages with an average passage time of 106.5 days.  She failed to
                 get tea cargoes in 1879 and 1880 and went to Sydney in both years and obtained wool cargoes. Her last
                 tea cargo was in 1881. After that she carried wool from Sydney up to 1890. She was sold in 1890 to
                 Canadian Pacific coast owners and was in the trans Pacific trade.  In 1895, she was sold to Portuguese
                 Government for use as a training ship and was renamed PEDRO NUNEZ.  In 1907, she was ceremonially
                 towed out of the Tagus by the Portuguese naval vessels and  torpedoed.       

                CUTTY SARK (1869 - 1954), tonnage 963 gross 921 net, length 212ft 5in, beam36 ft, depth21
                feet. Of composite (iron  frame planked) construction, built by Scott & Linton-Denny Bros, Dumbarton,
                for Captain John ('White Hat') who wanted a tea clipper to beat THERMOPYLAE.   Designed by
                Hercules Linton - there are arguments about the influence of the design and sail plan of theTWEED which
                was Willis' favourite ship.  Scott & Linton was bankrupted before construction was completed. With the
                support of the creditors, Denny Bros completed the ship.  The result was.a vessel more powerful than any
                of the other tea  clippers - maybe not as fast as THERMOPYLAE in light airs but faster in stronger winds.
                The CUTTY SARK's made eight voyages to China from 1870 to 1877 - four to Shanghai and four to
                Hankow where she was towed up and back on the Yangtze - for tea cargoes.  After 1877 she was
                unsuccessful in getting tea cargoes and carried jute from Manila to New York and othercargoes. Only in
                1872, when she and THERMOPYLAE  left Shanghai within few hours of each other was there the
                opportunity of a test between the two vessels.  They reached and passed through the Sunda Straits close
                together and separated from there. The CUTTY SARK lost her rudder in a heavy gale some 400 nautical
                miles from the Cape of Good Hope and it took six days under difficult condions  for the cew to rig a jury
                rudder.  She reached London 122 days out a week after  THERMOPYLAE.  In 1883, CUTTY SARK
                entered the Australian wool trade. In twelve voyages she established her superioruity over other vessels.  
                1n eight return voyages from Sydney she reached Ushant in 1885 in 67 days, the Downs in1887 in 73
                days, London in 1889 in 86 days, London in 1890 in 75 days, London in1891 in 93 days, the Lizrd in
                1892 in83 days, Bishops in 1993  in 90 days and the Scillies in 1894 in 87 days. In 1895, she was sold to
                Potuguese ownere and was renamed FERREIRA. She traded between Portugal and Rio de Janiero, New
                Orleans, Mozambique, Angola and Britain. In May, 1916, she was dimasted off the Capeof Good Hope,
                towed to Capetown and re-rigged as a barquentine.  In 1922, she spotted in Falmouth by a former
                windjammer captain, Wifred Dowman, who was successful in purchasing her.  Sh e was brought ot
                Falmouth re-rigged to an approximation of her original rig, and used as a cadet training ship. After
                Dowman's death in 1936, she was purchased by the Thames Nautical Training College, Greenhithe, the
                move to the Thames was her last use of sail.  In 1954 she was moved to a custom buit dry-dock at
                Greenwich. After restoration she was opened to public exhibition.  badly damaged in a fire in 2007, she
                has been restored and is again open for exhibition under the care of the Cutty Sark Trust.         

               BLACKADDER (1870 - 1905), tonnage 970 gross and 918 net, length 216ft 6in, beam 35ft 2in,
               depth 20ft 5in.  Constructed of iron, designed on the lines of the TWEED and built by  Maudsley
               London (marine engineers rather than builders) for Captai John ('White Hat') Willis.  Mistakes were
               made in fitting the masts.  She was in collisions and  dismasted on her maiden voyage.  On her second
               voyage in 1872, she reached Shanghai in 95 days and returned from Foochow in121 days. In 1873
               she was dismasted in a typhoon off the Ladrones.on her way to Shanghai with a cargo of coal from
               Sydney. After repairs at Shanghai she picked up a cargo sugar at Ilo Ilo in the Philippines for Boston,
               There was a strsnding but the ship came off, and a long voyage in which supplies of food ran out and
               the crew arrived in Boston suffering from scurvy.  The ship's luck appeared to change after this.  Her
               voyages to China for tea in 1875, 1876 and 1877 were successful but in 1878 she, like others, was
               unable to obtain a cargo of tea but found a cargo in Calcutta . In 1880, she was again successful in
               getting a cargo of tea. In a race home with her sister ship HALLOWEEN from Foochow, she reacxhed
               London 130 days out and her sister reached Deal 126 days out.  In 1881 in Shaghai she loaded a part
               tea cargo for New York.  In 1882, she brought back a cargof sugar from Java.  In 1886/87 and
               1887/88, she was carring wool from Newcastle, N.S.W.. In the nineties she was carrying wool from
               Brisbane. and made good  passages home of under 90 days.  .In  1900, she was sold to Norwegin
               owners. She was wrecked in November 1905 in a voyage from Barry to Bahia with a cargo of coal.