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Frank Morris
Frank Morris. 03 May 2023

Clipper Days: A photo gallery of stunning ‘racehorses of the sea’



This beautiful four-masted barque was constructed in 1882. The clipper was 286 feet long and cost 29,000 pounds; she spent most her career trading between the Old Country and Port Jackson. On April 28, 1917, while on a voyage to London from Buenos Aires she was hit, without warning, by a German submarine. Thirteen of the men were lost.


A Tea clipper, built for John MacCunn, was launched at Greenock in 1865. She was 1058 tons and held a record in China tea trade of 89 days from Hong Kong. Sir  Lancelot foundered off the mouth of the Hoogly in 1895.


The Sobraon was promoted as one of the finest sailing ships of the clipper class. Launched in 1866, her dimensions being:  length 317 feet and beam 40 feet. She was the most favoured of Australian immigrant ships. On a good day, her run was 340 knots, and sailed over, on one occasion, 2000 knots in a week. She was later acquired by the Commonwealth Government and used by the Navy as a training vessel. She was renamed the HMAS Tirgira.


This striking clipper will compel the admiration of many of the onlookers. Her graceful lines --  tall  tapering spars, glistening white paint and burnished brass fittings. What a marvellous sight?  The clipper was ultimately sold to the Italians. After bumping on some rocks, The Torrens was towed back to Genoa and was broken up in 1910.


Built of iron, she was constructed in 1870 at Greenwich, England and she weighed 920 tons. In 1874, she made to trip from Shanghai to London with a cargo of tea in 91 days, a record time, arriving on January 20, 1875. She was fast in light air flow. On 1887, she was loaded with tea when she was wrecked in the English Channel at Soar Mill Cove, South Devon.

Clipper Ships show why they are kings

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