History
 United Kingdom
NameFlying Spur
OwnerJohn Robertson & Co, London[1]
BuilderAlexander Hall & Sons, Aberdeen
Cost£13.787
Launched1860
Out of service1881
FateWrecked on Martin Vas, North Rock, in the South Atlantic.[2]: 123–124 
General characteristics
Class and typeExtreme clipper
Tons burthen732
Length184 ft (56 m)
Beam31 ft 4 in (9.55 m)
Draught19 ft 4 in (5.89 m)

Flying Spur was a British tea clipper, built of teak and greenheart in 1860.[2]: 122 

Voyages in the tea trade

For 20 years, Flying Spur sailed with cargoes of tea between London and the Chinese tea ports such as Foochow, with voyages to Canton, China; Nagasaki, Japan. As a tea clipper, she had a crew of 36.[2]: 123–124, 231–240 [1]

Flying Spur was one of the 16 clippers waiting to load tea in Foochow in May 1866. These ships were judged to be among the fastest in the tea clipper fleet, and so likely to give a good performance in that year's tea race - the informal contest to be the first ship to dock with the new crop of tea. The first 5 had finished loading and sailed over the period 28 May to 31 May. They were the main contenders in the Great Tea Race of 1866 - a contest with a very close finish. Flying Spur did not get away until 5 Jun and so missed the opportunity to be involved.[3]: 142 [2]: 235 

Flying Spur made the fourth fastest passage back from China in 1867, with a time of 116 days, carrying 49,710 pounds of tea. First in the race was Ariel, with a time of 102 days, carrying 1,283,000 pounds of tea.[1][2]: 236 

Loss

On 13 February 1881, Flying Spur "was wrecked on Martin Vas, North Rock, in the South Atlantic Ocean while carrying a cargo of coal and a crew of 18."[1]

Black Prince, Fiery Cross, Taeping, Ariel and Flying Spur at Foowcho in 1866
Black Prince, Fiery Cross, Taeping, Ariel and Flying Spur at Foowcho in 1866
William B. Atkinson, captain of Flying Spur, ca. 1870
William B. Atkinson, captain of Flying Spur, ca. 1870

References

  1. ^ a b c d Aberdeen City Council (2010). "Aberdeen Ships, Flying Spur". Aberdeen Built Ships. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e MacGregor, David R. (1983). The Tea Clippers, Their History and Development 1833-1875. Conway Maritime Press Limited. pp. 120–123. ISBN 0-85177-256-0.
  3. ^ Lubbock, Basil (1946) [1914]. The China Clippers. Glasgow: Brown, Son and Ferguson Ltd. ISBN 0851741096.