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Flying Cloud Clipper Ship

Model of the world's fastest merchant vessel
When she was launched on April 15, 1851, at East Boston, the Flying Cloud was the fastest merchant ship afloat. She regularly sailed from New York to San Francisco, a treacherous route in those pre-Panama Canal days that took her around Cape Horn at the tip of South America. In 1862, Flying Cloud was sold to go under British colors without change of name, and was soon traveling between the mother country and Australia and New Zealand. Her latter years were spent in the timber trade between Britain and St. Johns, Canada. Shortly after leaving St. Johns in 1874, the Flying Cloud went ashore on Beacon Island bar during a heavy gale and broke her back. Condemned and sold, the Flying Cloud was finally burned for her copper and metal fastenings in June 1875.

Keel, 208'; deck, 225'
Built by Donald McKay at East Boston
Sold to Grinnell, Minturn & Co. of New York for $90,000
Web display only

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