The Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship. Built on the Clyde in 1869 for the Jock Willis shipping line, she was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of a long period of design development which halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion.
The opening of the Suez Canal (also in 1869) meant that steam ships now had a much shorter route to China, so Cutty Sark spent only a few years on the tea trade before turning to the trade in wool from Australia, where she held the record time to Britain for ten years. Improvements in steam technology meant that gradually steamships also came to dominate the longer sailing route to Australia and the ship was sold to the Portuguese company Ferreira and Co. in 1895, and renamed Ferreira. She continued as a cargo ship until purchased by retired sea captain Wilfred Dowman in 1922, who used her as a training ship operating from Falmouth, Cornwall. After his death she was transferred to the Thames Nautical Training College, Greenhithe in 1938 where she became an auxiliary cadet training ship alongside HMS Worcester. By 1954 she had ceased to be useful as a cadet ship and was transferred to permanent dry dock at Greenwich, London on public display.
Cutty Sark is one of three ships in London on the Core Collection of the National Historic Ships Register (the nautical equivalent of a Grade 1 Listed Building) – alongside HMS Belfast and SS Robin. She is one of only three remaining original composite construction (wooden hull on an iron frame) clipper ships from the nineteenth century in part or whole, the others being the City of Adelaide, awaiting transportation to Australia for preservation, and the beached skeleton of Ambassador of 1869 near Punta Arenas, Chile.
The ship was badly damaged by fire on 21 May 2007 while undergoing conservation. The vessel has been restored and was reopened to the public on 25 April 2012.
|Name:||Cutty Sark (1869–95), (1922–present)|
|Owner:||John Willis (40⁄64 share)|
Robert Dunbar Willis (24⁄64 share)
|Ordered:||1 February 1869|
|Builder:||Scott & Linton|
|Launched:||22 November 1869|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Moodie|
|Commissioned:||16 February 1870|
|Out of service:||December 1954|
|Identification:||UK Official Number: 63557|
|Motto:||“Where there's a will is a way”|
|Namesake:||Joaquim Antunes Ferreira|
|Owner:||Joaquim Antunes Ferreira & Co.|
|Acquired:||22 July 1895|
|Nickname:||Pequena Camisola (“Little shirt”)|
|Name:||Maria do Amparo|
|Owner:||Companhia Nacional de Navegação|
|Class & type:||Clipper|
|Displacement:||2,100 tons (2,133.7 tonnes) at 20 ft (6.1 m) draught|
|Length:||Hull: 212 ft 5 in (64.74 m)|
LOA: 280 ft (85.34 m)
|Beam:||36 ft (10.97 m)|
|Propulsion:||32,000 sq ft sail (3000 hp)|
|Sail plan:||1870: ship rig|
1916: barquentine rig
|Speed:||17.15 kn (31.76 km/h)|
|Capacity:||1,700 tons (1542 tonnes)|