A clipper ship is a synonym for a merchant ship from the 19th century that plied global routes and ferried cargo and passengers.

In the 1840s, a new kind of merchant navy vessel was created by American shipbuilders. It facilitated faster transport of cargo through the oceanic waters.

The most important aspect of a clipper ship was speed, and it was built to enhance a streamlined design.

The origin of the term “clipper ship” in naval architecture is disputed. 

History of Clipper Ships

The consensus is that the Baltimore Clipper was the first vessel to employ that name.

A clipper ship offered its captain and crew a sailing speed of over 250 miles a day, whereas the routine ships travelled at an average speed of 150 miles per day. 

Characteristics of a Clipper Ship

The Flying Cloud (which was launched in 1851) was a significant American clipper ship.

Famous Clipper Ship - Flying Cloud

It made the journey between New York and San Francisco in 89 days – a record by itself.

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