Ship types

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Clipper (19th century)

Tall ships achieved particular refinement in the clipper, which first appeared in the 1830s. It was designed and constructed exclusively for sailing at high speeds, for which its sharp lines were as perfect as its trim in the water. The British clipper CUTTY SARK had a composite hull, consisting of wood on an iron frame. Clippers had a length-to-beam ratio of 5:1, which ultimately increased to 8:1. “Beam” means a ship’s maximum width. There was fierce competition among clippers to be the fastest to London with the first tea of the year from China. The CUTTY SARK lost her first tea race by a margin of five days to the THERMOPYLAE, which took only 105 days.


The following information refers to the specific ship represented by the model.


·         Region: Great Britain (all oceans)

·         Length: 85.35 m

·         Beam: 10.97 m

·         Propulsion: sail

·         Sail area: approx. 3,000 m²

·         Carrying capacity: approx. 1,700 tonnes

·         Speed: max. 17.5 knots (~ 32 km/h)