Cutty Sark

Clipper Ship

History of the Cutty Sark

TheCutty Sark was built by Scott and Linton in Dumbarton, Scotland in 1869.

Length overall




It has been said that there was never so fine a clipper hull designed as that of the Cutty Sark. The Cutty Sark first felt the water of the River Clyde on her keel on November 23,1869. The little clipper was built by the Scottish shipbuilders, Scott & Linton, in Dumbarton, for John Willis. Only the best materials were to go into her. The Cutty Sark was 280' long and had a beam of 36'. From her concept, she was designed to beat "Thermopylae," and no ends were to be spared to achieve this. Scotland is also responsible for her name, cutty sark being the wee shirt or short chemise worn by Nannie the witch in Bobby Burn's immortal poem, Tam o'Shanter.

The Cutty Sark made her maiden voyage, from London to Shanghai, on February 16, 1870. Her first captain was George Moodie. In 1872, the first show-down race with Thermopylae took place. Both ships had loaded at Shanghai and sailed from Woosung on the same day. However, twenty-six days later, with the Cutty Sark 400 miles ahead disaster struck. Her rudder was carried away in a heavy gale. A jury rudder was rigged, no small task on the high seas, and carrying easy sail, she made port a week behind Thermopylae.

In 1885 Cutty Sark met Captain Richard Woodget, who stood out among sea characters as an individualist. He raised Sable Collies aboard the Cutty Sark. Under his command the Cutty Sark took measure of the Thermopylae, on the return trip of his first voyage. In 1885 both ships left Port Jackson, Australia together, and 73 days later the Cutty Sark arrived in England, one week ahead of Thermopylae. John Willis had waited fifteen years for the victory and presented the ship with a golden shirt to be flown from her main truck. Captain Woodget skippered her until 1895 when she was sold.

From 1938 until 1953, Cutty Sark was part of the Incorporated Thames Nautical Training College, and then was turned over to the Cutty Sark Preservation Society. Today the Cutty Sark is restored in a specially built drydock at Greenwich Pier in London where visitors may go aboard her.

Our Model

The Cutty Sarkhas been built based on scaled down plans based on the original ship. The hull is carved from select basswood and finished with dull black topsides and white whale. The bottom is antiqued copper-green to simulate the corrosive effect the salt seas had on the original coppered bottom. Masts are painted black and white with black spars.All deck fittings are carefully reproduced in detail and include mahogany deck houses, hatches, ship boats, and many brass fittings.

The rigging of the Cutty Sark is very detailed and intricate. Many miniature blocks are used in the running rigging and tiny chain is used at points of stress, at the braces, and on the bowsprit. The model is mounted on a mahogany base on two brass pedestals. It has brass finished naneplates on each side of the name block. This model is one of the finest pieces of workmanship to come out of the shop.

Model Measurements

Length overall

28 1/2"


18 1/2"

Width of main yard

7 3/4"

How to Order

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