On Thursday afternoon at four o'clock a magnificent new iron clipper ship, named the Storm Cloud, was launched from the building yard of Messrs Alexander Stephen & Sons, Kelvinhaugh. This truly noble ship has been constructed expressly with the view of attaining a higher rate of speed than any other vessel ever built in this or any other country; and, if we may judge from the exquisite beauty of her mould, she promises to fulfill all that is expected of her. It is difficult to explain her remarkable and novel build. We may state, however, that her lines are an approximation to those of the celebrated yacht America, the sharpness of her bows being carried aft to near the stern. Her keel is not level, but curves up fore and aft, which it is calculated will make her more readily answer her helm.
Glasgow Herald, 1854 July 17.
This vessel was launched in August last. The general build and configuration were so far out of the usual run of clipper-ships, that a great deal of attention was excited, as the vessel lay on the stocks, amidst old salts and shipowners, as to the result of so daring a departure from the ordinary form of ships. We were of opinion that the Storm Cloud would prove one of the fastest vessels, if not the quickest, that ever left the Clyde; and the result has so far verified the opinion we then formed. Sailed from the Clyde for Melbourne in September last, encountering heavy gales and contrary winds for the first three days, so that it took six weeks to reach the Line, a distance of 4000 nautical miles. From the Line to the Cape was sailed in 22 days more, and the remainder of the distance, from the Cape to Melbourne, about half the entire passage, was run in the unprecedented short space of 20 days. On one day the Storm Cloud logged 345 nautical, or about 400 English miles. Several times 15 to 16 knots were run off the line, with the wind on the quarter, and 12 when close-hauled 5½ points from the wind. The keel of this vessel cambered upwards for about 30 feet forward, and to a less degree aft. The inference from this curvature of the keel was, that the ship would be very handy in stays, which has proved to be the case; and she also steers well, and is an excellent and easy sea-boat. Took out a large cargo, and 73 passengers, who were landed in good health, and spoke highly of the ship and crew.
The Artizan, Vol. XIII (1855), p 199.
On the present voyage she reached Madeira in six days; made the run from Sicily to Cape Otway in 66; and sighted the shore of Tasmania on the 69th day. In twenty-four hours she logged 370 nautical miles — a feat which equals if it does not surpass, the performances of the celebrated Marco Polo. [The Tasmanian Daily News, 1855 September 1]
Updated 1999-04-15 by Lars Bruzelius
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Copyright © 1999 Lars Bruzelius.