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Cutty Sark 1869 1/130 Airfix AIR09253

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Brand: Airfix
Product Code: AIR09253
Date Added: 13.09.2014
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 Cutty Sark 1869
Airfix AIR09253 
Manufacturer: Airfix
Scale: 1/130
Material: Plastic
Condition: New in Box

The Cutty Sark is a British clipper ship. Built on the Clyde in 1869 for the Jock Willis Shipping Line, she was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of a long period of design development which halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion.

The opening of the Suez Canal (also in 1869) meant that steam ships now enjoyed a much shorter route to China, so Cutty Sark spent only a few years on the tea trade before turning to the trade in wool from Australia, where she held the record time to Britain for ten years. Improvements in steam technology meant that gradually steamships also came to dominate the longer sailing route to Australia and the ship was sold to the Portuguese company Ferreira and Co. in 1895, and renamed Ferreira. She continued as a cargo ship until purchased by retired sea captain Wilfred Dowman in 1922, who used her as a training ship operating from Falmouth, Cornwall. After his death, Cutty Sarkwas transferred to the Thames Nautical Training College, Greenhithe in 1938 where she became an auxiliary cadet training ship alongside HMS Worcester. By 1954 she had ceased to be useful as a cadet ship and was transferred to permanent dry dock at Greenwich, London on public display.

Cutty Sark is one of three historical sea vessels in London on the Core Collection of the National Historic Ships Register (the nautical equivalent of aGrade 1 Listed Building) – alongside HMS Belfast and SS Robin. She is one of only three remaining original composite construction (wooden hull on an iron frame) clipper ships from the nineteenth century in part or whole, the others being the City of Adelaide, awaiting transportation to Australia for preservation, and the beached skeleton of Ambassador of 1869 near Punta Arenas, Chile.

The ship was badly damaged by fire on 21 May 2007 while undergoing conservation. The vessel has since been restored and reopened to the public on 25 April 2012A contract for Cutty Sark's construction was signed on 1 February 1869 with the firm of Scott & Linton, which had only been formed in May 1868. Their shipyard was at Dumbarton on the River Leven on a site previously occupied by shipbuilders William Denny & Brothers. The contract required the ship to be completed within six months at a contracted price of £17 per ton and maximum weight of 950 tons. This was a highly competitive price for an experimental, state-of-the-art vessel, and for a customer requiring the highest standards. Payment would be made in seven installments as the ship progressed, but with a penalty of £5 for every day the ship was late. The ship was to be built to Lloyd's A1 standard and her construction was supervised on behalf of Willis by Captain George Moodie, who would command her when completed. Construction delays occurred when the Lloyd's inspectors required additional strengthening in the ship.

Work on the ship was suspended when Scott and Linton ran out of money to pay for further work. Rather than simply liquidate the company, an arrangement was made for Denny's to take over the contract and complete the ship, which was finally launched on 22 November 1869 by Captain Moodie's wife. The ship was moved to Denny's yard to have her masts fitted, and then on 20 December towed downriver to Greenock to have her running rigging installed. In the event, completing the ship meant the company's creditors were owed even more money than when work had first been halted.

Broadly, the parts of the ship visible above the waterline were constructed from East India teak, while American rock elm was used for the ship's bottom. The keel (16.5 x 15 inches) had on either side a garboard strake (11 x 12 inches) and then 6-inch planking decreasing to 4.75 inches at 1/5 the depth of the hold. Teak planking began at approximately the level of the bilge stringer. All the external timbers were secured by Muntz metal (brass) bolts to the internal iron frame and the hull covered by Muntz sheeting up to the 18-foot depth mark. The stem (15 x 15 inches) and sternpost (16.5 x 15 inches) were of teak while the rudder was of English oak. The keel was replaced in the 1920s with one constructed from 15 inches (38 cm) pitch pine.The deck was made of 3.5-inch thick teak while the 'tween deck was 3-inch yellow pine. Her length was 212 feet 5 inches (64.74 m) with a draft of 21 feet (6.40 m) and adeadweight of 921 tons.

Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark in February 2012 with repairs almost complete
Career (UK) UK Civil Ensign
Name: Cutty Sark (1869–1895)
Ferreira (1895-1922)
Maria do Amparo (1922)
Cutty Sark (1922–present)
Namesake: Cutty-sark
Owner: John "Jock" Willis (1869-1895)
Ferreira and Co. (1895-1922)
Wilfred Dowman (1922-1938)
Thames Nautical Training College (1938-1953)
Cutty Sark Preservation Society (1953-present)
Ordered: 1 February 1869

 

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