Thermopylae (clipper)

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Thermopylae was an extreme composite clipper ship built in 1868 by Walter Hood & Co of Aberdeen to the design of Bernard Weymouth of London for the White Star Line of Aberdeen.

She measured 212'0"×36'0"×20'9" and tonnage 991 GRT, 948 NRT and 927 tons under deck. The under deck coefficient was 0,58. Rigged with royal sails, single topgallant and split top-sails.

File:M. Reilly.Clipper ship Thermopylae.JPG
Thermopylae - chromolithograpgh by M. Reilly

She was designed for the China tea trade, and set speed records on her maiden voyage to Melbourne -- 63 days, still the fastest trip under sail. In 1872 she raced the clipper Cutty Sark from Shanghai back to London and won by seven days after Cutty Sark lost her rudder. From 1882 she took part in the Australian wool trade but on this the Cutty Sark proved faster. In 1897 she was sold to Portugal for use as a naval training ship and renamed the Pedro Nunes. The Portuguese Navy torpedoed her at sea on 13 October 1907 off Cascais.

Further reading

  • Hume, Cyril L.; Armstrong, Malcolm C. The Cutty Sark and Thermopylae Era of Sail. Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson, 1987 (hardcover, ISBN 0-85174-500-8).
  • Matheson, Marny. Clippers for the record: The story of ship Thermopylae, S.S. Aberdeen, and Captain Charles Matheson. Melbourne: Spectrum, 1984 (ISBN 0-86786-051-0).

External links

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