Cutty Sark

Of all of the ships used as training ships the most famous is Cutty Sark. Before she burned in May 2007 she was a familiar landmark in London and used as one of the turns in the London Marathon. It was her sleek lines and amazing speed on the long trade routes around Cape Horn that she is really famous for, but had it not been for her time as a training ship she might never have had a chance to become known at all.

In 1922 she was under Portuguese ownership and operating under the name of 'Maria do Amparo'. She was not in a very good condition, but when Captain Wilfred H Dowman saw her in Falmouth. Captain Dowman was a retired Master Mariner that had at one point served as Mate aboard the cadet training ship TSPortJackson. He could remember her in her younger days when she could outpace a steamship. He had retired a rich man and already owned a fleet of boats, but when he saw Cutty Sark he had to have her. So he bought her for £3,750 and set about restoring her.

By 1924 She had been re-rigged as she would have been during her time as a Tea Clipper. During the summer of that year she journeyed down the coast to Fowey to act as committee boat for the Fowey Regatta. On board was her old skipper Captain Woodget, but she was towed rather than make the passage under her own power.

From 1922 until 1936 she was a cadet training ship in Falmouth. She was moored near to TSFoudroyant and HMSImplacable owned and run by Mr. G. Wheatly Cobb. This was until he decided to move his ships due to a disagreement over where they where moored. Mr Cobb felt that the moorings that he had been offered could lead to damage to his ships, so in September 1930 Foudroyant left Falmouth, with Implacable leaving shortly afterwards.

In March 1936 Captain Dowman died aged 56, and his widow donated the ship to the Incorporated Thames Nautical Training College in 1938 to be used as a SailingTender. She was towed to Greenhithe on the Thames, where the vessel remained until after the Second World War. After The second World War ended the college acquired a larger steel-built ship and no longer needed Cutty Sark. She was moored off Greenwich for the festival of Britain in 1951, and then moved into a specially constructed dock in 1954 thanks to the efforts of The Cutty Sark Society formed under the patronage of the Duke of Edinburgh.

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TSCuttySark (last edited 2012-06-20 22:50:43 by chrisbunker)