Sat. June 18. -- Mr. Donald McKay, the eminent ship builder, intends to take passage in the clipper ship Sovereign of the Seas, which will sail from New York in a few days for Liverpool. We understand that he has two objects in view -- first, to ascertain by personal observation afloat, what improvements, if any, can be made in clipper models; and second, to examine the principal shipbuilding establishments of Great Britain. Progressive in his ideas, he is ever on the alert to increase his professional knowledge, for he is not of those who, after making one or two successful models, settle into the belief that they have discovered perfection, and stand still the rest of their lives. On the contrary, of the many ships he has designed, only two, the Star of Empire, and Chariot of Fame, have been built after the same model. Years before the California trade induced our merchants to build large clippers, he urged one of our most enterprising firms to leave the usual routine of employing full modelled vessels in the China trade, and made the model of a clipper which he contended would outsail any vessel afloat, and consequently would obtain the highest rates of freight; but they could not then see the truth, which has since been demonstrated. New York put the Sea Witch, Samuel_Russell, and a few others afloat, which by the rapidity of their passages, astonished the world. The California trade roused our merchants to build clippers, and almost at a bound Mr. McKay's clippers took the lead, and up to this day, have attained the highest rate of speed on record. During the past two years he has built the Staghound, of 1700 tons, the Flying Cloud, of 1800, the Staffordshire, of 1900, the Flying Fish and Westward Hoo, each of 1600, the Sovereign of the Seas, of 2400, the Bald Eagle, of 1700, and the Empress of the Seas, of 2200; and all these are famous for their beauty and speed. He has now on the stocks the largest and sharpest clipper in the world, a ship of 310 feet length, 52 breadth, and 30 depth, which will stow at least 6000 tons, and is designed to be the swiftest ship he has yet built. This splendid ship, like the Sovereign of the Seas, is built entirely on his own account; and he will sail her, too, for his knowledge of trade is second only to his skill as a naval architect. Train & Co.'s splendid line of Boston and Liverpool packets were all built by him, and also several of the best and swiftest packets belonging to New York. All his works bear the impress of a superior mind, and although the excellence of his clippers has brought him prominently before the public, yet before he built a clipper, he was distinguished for the speed and beauty of every vessel which he built. But aside from his high professional reputation, he is a gentleman of a warm, generous nature, charitable to the poor, and of unswerving integrity. His word is his bond.
In common with his numerous friends, we wish him a pleasant passage and a safe return to his family.
Since the above was in type, we learn that Mr. McKay, accompanied by his wife, left here last evening, and that both will sail this day. Capt. L. McKay still commands the Sovereign of the Seas.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius.
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