Barons of the Sea: And Their Race to Build the World's Fastest Clipper Ship

Chris in Santa Cruz CA

Super Anarchist
earths surface
This is a really interesting book technically and human drama wise. Also some good history of trade with China and the Opium Wars of the 1800's as well as the transformation of the US and world by high speed dependable sea travel via sailing ship.

Its a serious historical work with good foot notes but occasionally redundant. I'm loving it! These guys were nuts!


Somebody Else

a person of little consequence
Oooooh!! Another book on clippers to add to my library!

Of the several I have, The Clipper Ship Era (1910) by Arthur H. Clark, is my favorite. It concentrates on the period from 1843-1869. Full of great anecdotes and historical time-lines. Clark places the Clippers in their financial context and explains how they were the foundation of USA's financial juggernaut -- rule the world via commerce, not war. He has an entire chapter on the repeal of the British Navigation Laws and how, in their last century, they were a financial and political disaster for GB. Pretty much the repeal of the British Navigation Laws was a major step in what is now called Modern Globalization.

I love reading anything about the Sea Witch, which was built in 1846, designed by J.W. Griffiths with considerable design and build input from her 1st captain, the infamous captain Robert Waterman, for whom her owners, the merchants Howland & Aspinwall, had her built. My other favorites are Flying Cloud and Lightning.



Super Anarchist
You might want to also take a look at this book about Donald McKay who may well have been the greatest clipper ship designer of all time.

Donald McKay and His Famous Sailing Ships 





Super Anarchist
Wahiawa, Oahu
Howard Chapelle's "The Search for Speed Under Sail" is a must read about development up to and including the Extreme Clippers. Plus it is Chapelle, so there are drawings.  Oooodles of drawings.  I wore out my local library's copy long ago.  


AJ Oliver

Super Anarchist
Sandusky Sailing Club
Interesting post - great info on the thread - no gratuitous hostility 

what's it doing on SA ? 

Does Mathew Turner figure in this saga? 

I know for sure he built really a lot of boats. 

Myself, I'm with the Vets For Peace Golden Rule project - also a saga in its own right. 


Ease the sheet.

ignoring stupid people is easy
Im a sucker for anything writen by alan villiers.

But I'm prepared to experiment with other authors.

Thanks for the suggestions.