Sovereign of the Seas
An extreme clipper ship built in 1852 on speculation by Donald McKay, East Boston, MA, USA.
Dimensions: 258'2"×44'7"×23'6" and tonnage: 2421 tons.
The figurehead was a half man, half fish sea god blowing a conch shell.
Credited with having sailed 3736 miles in twelve days.
- 1852 June 19
- Launched at the ship yard of Donald McKay, East Boston, MA, USA, for his own account. Built on speculation and sold to Andrew F. Meinke of the ship broker firm Funch & Meinke, New York.
- In command of Captain Lauchlan McKay
- 1852 August 4
- Sailed from New York for San Francisco.
- 1852 October 12
- Partly dismasted during a gale off Valparaiso. Under jury rig already the next day and completely re-rigged 12 days later.
[The Boston Daily Atlas, December 17, 1852]
- 1852 November 15
- Arrived to San Francisco 103 days out from New York. The best day's run was 368 miles.
- 1853 February 12 - March 9
- Sailed from Honolulu to New York in 82 days with a cargo of 8000 barrels of whale oil. The best day's run was 374 miles on March 18 [Maury]. A later analysis of the logs showed that the distance sailed was 411 miles in 23 hours and 18 minutes or about 421 miles in 24 hours,
- 1853 June 18 - July 1
- Sailed from New York to Liverpool in 13 days days and 23 hours. The best day's run was 344 miles on June 28.
- Chartered to the Black Ball Line, Liverpool.
- In command of Captain Henry Warner.
- 1853 September 7 - November 24
- Sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne in 78 days days.
- 1854 January 23 - April 19
- Sailed from Melbourne to London in 86 days.
- 1854 May 24
- Sold to Joh. Ces. Godeffroy & Sohn, Hamburg.
The German measurements were 260'5"×41'6"×24'8" and 788 CL.
- In command of Captain J.J.G.F. Müller.
- 1854 August 4 - October 22
- Sailed from London to Sydney in 84 days.
Claimed to have made a 410 miles day's run.
- 1855 May 23 - November 9
- Sailed from Shanghai to London.
- In command of Captain C.A. Jansen.
- 1858 June
- Sold to Edward Bates & Theodore Eggers, Liverpool, for a price corresponding to $ 40 000.
Assigned the Official British Reg. No.. 21047 and signal NDRC. 1298 tons.
- 1858 December
- Sailed from Whampoa for Great Britain.
- 1859 July 11
- Sailed from Bombay with a cargo of cotton for Hong Kong.
- 1859 August 6
- Wrecked on the Pyramid Shoal in the Straits of Malacca on voyage from Hamburg to China.
- 1859 September
- The American ship Eloisa was engaged by Godeffroy & Sohn to salvaged the cargo and any parts of value from the wreck.
- Clipper Ships, general references.
- Daniel, H.: Later History of the Sovereign of the Seas.
Nautical Research Journal, Vol. 3, Whittier, CA, 1951. p 104.
- Faulkner: Ship Sovereign of the Seas.
The Boston Daily Atlas, December 17, 1852.
- Lane, Bruce M. & Lane, C. Gardner: New information on Ships
Built by Donald McKay.
American Neptune Vol. 42, Salem, 1982. pp. 118-137, ill.
- McLean, Duncan: The Largest Clipper in the World.
The Boston Daily Atlas, May 25, 1852.
- McLean, Duncan: The New Clipper Sovereign of the Seas of Boston.
The Boston Daily Atlas, June 19, 1852.
Reprinted in Howes & Matthews: American Clipper Ships 1833-1858, 1926. pp 600-606.
Reprinted in NRJ Vol. 28 (1982), pp 19-22.
- Forbes, James Nicol: Fastest Atlantic Crossing.
Northern Daily Times, March, 1854.
- Stammers, Michael K.: The Passage Makers.
Teredo Books, Brighton, 1978.
Updated 2000-02-15 by Lars Bruzelius.
Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives |
American clipper ships |
Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.