Ship profile for the sailing ship: "Cutty Sark"

Technical data of the sailing ship:

Name:Cutty Sark
Ex-names:Ferreira, Maria do Amparo
Registered port:London
Type of rigging:VOLLSCHIFF
Year built:1869
Yard:Scott & Linton, Dumbarton, GB
Overall length:85.30 m
Length (hull):68.30 m
Breadth:11.00 m
Draught:6.10 m
Sail area:3047 m2
Ship's hull:Holz / Wood

Portrait of the sailing ship:

Last update: 12 Feb 2014

  • built for John Willis, a seasoned sailing ship master a Fleet Owner in the Port of London, designed by Hercules Linton, their ambition for the "Cutty Sark" was to built the fastest ship in the annual race to bring home the first of the new season's tea from China.
  • ship's hull shape is stronger, could take more sail, and she could be driven harder than any other ships in this time; she is a so-called Clipper, today one of the last preserved and restored once still in existence.
  • completed by the William Denny & Brothers company due to financial problems of the shipyard where she was launched
  • competed for many years with the "Thermopylae" as the fastest China sailing ship for transporting tea, involvement in the China run until 1877, the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 allowed steamers to reach the far east via the Mediterranean, a shorter and quicker route not accessible to sailing ships, so the tea trade was no longer profitable, final voyage to China in 1875-76.
  • sailed the Indian Ocean and Far East with different cargos up to 1885.
  • was used then for the Australian wool trade between 1885 and 1895, she repeatedly made the fastest passage home from Australia in this time.
  • from 1895 she was a Portuguese merchant vessel, renamed the "Ferreira", used between the ports of Oporto, Rio, New Orleans and Lisbon, in the service of Portugal's colonial possessions.
  • after being dismasted in the Indian Ocean by a violent gale in 1916, she was then rebuilt and re-rigged as barkentine.
  • sold again to another Portugese company in 1920, renamed the "Maria do Amparo" in 1922.
  • in 1922 she underwent a refit at London's Surrey Docks, on her journey home from that refit, she was driven into Falmouth Harbour by a fateful Channel gale, the Captain Wilfred Dowman saw her here and bought her back, so she returned to England to be used as a stationary training ship.
  • After Captain Dowman's death in 1938, his widow presented the newly restored clipper to the Incorporated Thames Nautical Training College at Greenhithe on the Thames, where the vessel remained until after the Second World War.
  • being towed to a mooring off Greenwich in 1951, moved into a specially constructed dry dock at Greenwich in December 1954, today owned by "The Cutty Sark Trust", rigged as an original Clipper she is one of London's main tourist attractions with a collection of figureheads of merchant sailing ships.
  • Nov. 2006 begin of a general overhaul and conservation project, a fire on board in May 2007 delayed the project, re-opened in April 2012.


Website (English, 06 Jun 2021):
The Cutty Sark, Greenwich, London: the ship's description at the Royal Museums Greenwich website

Literature for further reading:

We recommend the following references for your further research of the ship. The references marked with have been included in the generation of the ship profile on this page.

Otmar Schäuffelen
"Die letzten grossen Segelschiffe"
Delius Klasing Verlag 1997 ISBN: 3-7688-0483-6
(9. aktualisierte Auflage)
Page: 133 Source with picture Source with history Source with technical data

Beken of Cowes, Eric C. Abranson
"Segelschiffe der Welt"
Edition Maritim 1995 ISBN: 3-89225-314-5
(engl. Originalausgabe: "Sailing Ships of the World", 1992, Thomas Reed Publications Ltd.)
Page: 72 Source with picture Source with history Source with technical data

Giancarlo Schiavoni
"Unter Segeln, die grossen Windjammer auf den Weltmeeren"
Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft mbH 1994 ISBN: 3-7822-0605-3
(ital. Originalausgabe: "La nave a vela")
Page: 197 Source with picture Source with history

Ingrid Schmidt
"Maritime Oldtimer, Museumsschiffe aus 4 Jahrhunderten"
Edition Leipzig 1986
Page: 39 Source with picture Source with history Source with technical data

"Faszination Segelschiffe"
Ein interaktives Informationssystem auf CD-ROM 1998
(2. überarbeitete Auflage)
Source with history Source with technical data Quelle with contact

Otmar Schäuffelen
"Die letzten grossen Segelschiffe"
Delius Klasing Verlag 2002 ISBN: 3-7688-0483-6
(10. aktualisierte und erweiterte Auflage)
Page: 150 Source with picture Source with history Source with technical data