Flying Cloud

An extreme clipper launched in 1851, at the shipyard of Donald McKay, East Boston, for Enoch Train, Boston.

     If great length, sharpness of ends, with proportionate breadth

     and depth, conduce to speed, the Flying Cloud must be

     uncommonly swift, for in all these she is great. Her length on

     the keel is 208 feet, on deck 225, and over all, from the knight

     heads to the taffrail, 235 — extreme breadth of beam 41

     feet, depth of hold 21½, including 7 feet 8 inches height of

     between-decks, dead-rise at half floor 20 inches, rounding of

     sides 6 inches, and sheer about 3 feet. 

Duncan McLean in The Boston Daily Atlas, April 25, 1851.

1851 April

     Purchased by Grinell, Minturn & Co, New York, for $ 90.000. 

1851 April 15 

     Launched at East Boston. 

1851 June 2 — August 31 

     Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 89 days 21 hours under

     command of Captain Josiah Perkins Cressey. On July 31 she made 374


1852 January 6 — April 9 

     Sailed from Whampoa to New York in 94 days. 

1852 December 1 — March 8 

     Sailed from Whampoa to New York in 96 days. 

1853 April 28 — August 12 

     Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 105 days. 

1854 January 21 — April 20 

     Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 89 days 8 hours. 

1854 July 20 — November 24 

     Sailed from Whampoa to New York in 115 days. 

1855 September 5 — December 14 

     Sailed from Whampoa to New York in 99 days. 

1856 March 13 — September 14 

     Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 185 days under command

     of Captain Reynard. She is reputed to have sailed 402 miles in 24

     hours during that trip. 

1856 May 10 — June 23 

     Partially dismasted en route San Francisco and put into Rio de Janeiro

     for repairs where her spars were cut down before she proceeded. 

1856 September 14 — 1857 January 4 

     Laid up in San Francisco. 

1857 April - 1859 December 8 

     Laid up in New York. The spars were cut down once more in 1858. 

1861 February 28 — May 24 

     Sailed from London (Deal) to Melbourne in 85 days. 


     Bought by Mackay & Co, Liverpool, for their Queensland service, but

     instead mortaged to the Forwood family, Liverpool. Sailed for James

     Baines' "Black Ball Line". 

1870 June 4 — August 30 

     Sailed from London to Hervey's Bay in 87 days under command of

     Captain Owen. 

1871 April 19 

     After James Baines & Co. had suspended payment, Arthur Forwood

     took possession of the ship and sold her to Harry Smith Edwards of

     South Shields. 

1874 June 19

     Went ashore on the Beacon Island bar, St Johns and was condemned

     and sold. 

1875 June 

     Was burned for her copper and metal fastenings. 

Select Bibliography:

     Howes & Matthews: American Clipper Ships 1833-1858, 1926. 

     McKay, Richard: Some Famous Sailing Ships and Their Builder

     Donald McKay. 1928. 

     Stammers, Michael K.: The Passage Makers. Teredo Books, Brighton,


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