Taitsing (clipper)

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Career Great Britain
Name: Taitsing
Owner: James Findlay
Builder: Charles Connell & Co, Glasgow
Launched: 1865
Acquired: 1876
Owner: John Willis & Son
Acquired: 1879
Status: Sank off Nyuni Island, Zanzibar
Notes: Arrived fifth in The Great Tea Race of 1866
General characteristics
Class and type: Clipper
Tons burthen: 815 NRT
Length: 192 ft.
Beam: 31.5 ft.
Draught: 20 ft. 1 in.

'Taitsing' was a famous British Tea Clipper.[1]

Tea Clipper Taitsing

She was a full rigged, composite built clipper ship, measuring 192 ft. x 31.5 ft. x 20.15 ft. She was built in 1865 by Charles Connell & Co, Glasgow for Findlay & Longmuir, Greenock.[2]

The ship sailed from London to Chinese ports like Amoy, Hong Kong, Woosung, Foochow and Shanghai. She also travelled from Foochow to New York in 1874. In 1876 the ship was sold to James Findlay of Greenock and again to John Willis & Son [Robert D. Willis] of London in 1879.

A painting of Taitsing signed by the Chinese painter Hingqua, along with a painting of the Clipper Brig Venus, sold at auction at Sotheby's in 2009.[3]

The Great Tea Race of 1866

Laden with just over a million pounds of tea, Taitsing, under the command of Captain Nutsford, raced nine other ships from China to England in The Great Tea Race of 1866. The first five ships, the Taiping, Ariel, Serica, Fiery Cross, and Taitsing, finished a 14,000 mile race within three days of each other. Taitsing arrived fifth, in "the closest run ever recorded." [4]

Taitsing's best 24 hour run during this race was on July 2, when she traveled 318 miles, averaging 13.25 knots.[5]


Scale model

Model built to a scale of 32 feet to one inch. Based on plans from: MacGregor, David R.. The Tea Clippers, Their History & Development 1833 – 1875. p. 167. 


Taitsing, carrying a load of patent fuel from Swansea, sank off Nyuni Island, Zanzibar in 1883.

Further reading

David R. MacGregor (1988). "Fast Sailing Ships: Their Design and Construction, 1775-1875". Naval Institute Press. pp. 239–40. http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/toc/becites/genealogy/immigrant/87062528.idx.html#tl. Retrieved 2010-02-18. ""Taitsing, ship, compared with Serica, 240 ... compared with other clippers, 239-40" 


  1. Lars Bruzelius (2003-04-28). "Tea Clippers". http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Ships/Clippers/Teaclippers.html. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  2. Lars Bruzelius. "Taitsing". http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/Ships/Clippers/Taitsing%281865%29.html. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  3. Sotheby's (2009-01-24). "Important Americana, Sale: N08512, Location: New York". http://www.sothebys.com/app/live/lot/LotDetail.jsp?lot_id=159514037. Retrieved 2010-02-18. ""PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF FRED F. AND LOIS K. ROGERS CHINESE SCHOOL, 19TH CENTURY, THE CLIPPER SHIP VENUS AND THE CLIPPER SHIP TAITSING: TWO CHINA TRADE SHIP PORTRAITS"" 
  4. Lars Bruzelius (Wednesday, September 12, 1866). "The Great Tea Race, 1866". The Shipping and Mercantile Gazette. pp. 5. http://www.bruzelius.info/Nautica/News/SMG/SMG%281866-09-12%29_p5ab.html. Retrieved 2010-02-18. ""The Taeping took in 1,108,700 lbs. of tea, the Ariel 1,230,900 lbs., the Serica 954,236 lbs., the Fiery Cross 854,236 lbs., and the Taitsing 1,093,130 lbs."" 
  5. Arthur H. Clark (1911). "The clipper ship era; an epitome of famous American and British clipper ships, their owners, builders, commanders, and crews, 1843-1869". G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 330. http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924020891416/cu31924020891416_djvu.txt. Retrieved 2010-02-18. ""The best twenty -four hours' runs were as follows : Average, Ariel June 25 317 miles 13.2 knots, ... Taitsing July 2 318 " 13.25 """