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The Flying Cloud
(circa 1870 AD)
(circa 2000 for model)


Click here for a larger image of The Flying Cloud, Built by Ralph W. Preston

Click here for a larger image of The Flying Cloud, Built by Ralph W. Preston

The golden age of the clipper ships began in the early 1840's. The evolution of this type was accelerated by a demand for teas, spices and other goods from the Orient. 

But the great stimulus came from the discovery of gold in California. The resulting gold rush sent many clipper ships (and other types) around Cape Horn. In 1847-1848 only four ships departed Atlantic ports for San Francisco. In 1849 (the year the gold rush started) 775 vessels made the voyage around Cape Horn.

The Flying Cloud was launched April 15, 1851. On her maiden voyage, starting June 2, 1851, she set a record for the fastest day's run ever made under sail. She was built by Donald McKay at his shipyard in Boston. This shipyard was to build some of the best clippers.

In 1874 she ran aground on Beacon Island bar, just off the New Brunswick coast, broken in half and burned in June 1875 to salvage the metal in her.
F. Alexander Magoun

Built by Ralph W. Preston.
Photos by Ralph W. Preston.


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~~~ Hit the bottle! ~~~