Champion of the Seas
An extreme clipper ship built in 1854 by Donald McKay, East Boston, for the Black Ball
Line of Liverpool. Dimensions: 252'×45'7"×29' and tonnage 2448 tons. Built with three decks.
The figurehead was a sailor with a hat in the right hand and the left extended.
The ship was painted black outside and white inside, with blue water-ways.
- 1854 April 19
- Launched at the shipyard of Donald McKay, East
Boston, for the Black Ball Line, Liverpool.
- 1854 June
- Sailed from New York to Liverpool in 29 days under
command of Captain Alexander Newlands.
- 1854 October 11 - December 26
- Her maiden voyage Liverpool -
Melbourne took 75 days during which a 24 hour run of 465 miles was recorded.
- Sailed Melbourne-Liverpool in 84 days.
- Sailed Liverpool-Melbourne in 83 days under command of
Captain John McKirby.
- Sailed from Melbourne to Liverpool where she arrived on
January 25, 1856, in 90 days.
- Sailed Liverpool-Melbourne in 85 days.
- 1857 August 10
- Sailed with troops for India from Portsmouth to
the Bay of Bengal together with James Baines. Arrived at Sandheads after 101 days.
- 1860 January 1 - March 26
- Sailed Melbourne-Liverpool in 85 days.
- Sold to Thomas Harrison and Thomas Sully Stowe for £
9750, but chartered back to the Black Ball Line for three more voyages until
September 1868, after which she was put into general trading.
- 1874 February
- After having found that she was badly affected by
dry rot she was subsequently sold to A. Cassels of Liverpool for £ 7500.
- 1875 July
- Arrived at San Francisco from Hong Kong after 39 days
under command of Captain Wilson.
- 1875 October 5
- Arrived at Callao after 45 days from San
- 1877 January 3
- Abandoned off Cape Horn in leaking condition
with a cargo of guano. The crew was saved by the British barque Windsor.
- Clipper ships, general references.
- "The Editor": Was she Really the Champion of the Seas.
Sea Breezes Vol. 64 (1990), pp 453-456, ill.
- McLean, Duncan: The New Clipper Champion of the Seas.
The Boston Daily Atlas, Vol. XXII, No. 274, Saturday, May 20, 1854.
Reprinted in NRJ Vol. 25 (1979), pp 33-35.
- Stammers, Michael K.: The Passage Makers.
Teredo Books, Brighton, 1978.
Updated 1998-01-15 by Lars Bruzelius.
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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.