United States
NameShooting Star
OwnerReed & Wade, Boston
BuilderJames. O. Curtis, Medford, MA
Launched8 February 1851
FateSold to a merchant from Bangkok, Thailand, 1862 Wrecked off the coast of Formosa, 1867
General characteristics
Class and typeExtreme clipper
Tons burthen903 tons
Length171 ft (52 m). LOA
Beam35 ft (11 m)[1]

Shooting Star was an extreme clipper built in 1851 near Boston, in Medford, Massachusetts. She was the first "real clipper"[clarification needed] to be built in Medford, and sailed in the San Francisco, China, and Far East trades. According to Howe and Matthews, she was known as "one of the fastest of the small clippers".[2]


The frames were made of white oak, with planking of Southern pine. The ship was coppered and copper fastened.[3]

Clipper ship sailing card
Clipper ship sailing card


Shooting Star was partially dismasted on its maiden voyage was from Boston to San Francisco, and had to put in at Rio for repairs, completing its voyage in 124 days. The second voyage from Boston to San Francisco was faster, with a time of 105 days.

Voyages in 1853 and 1855 from New York to San Francisco were completed in 123 and 116 days.

Shooting Star's most notable run was a homeward passage from Whampoa, China, in which she made a passage from Macao to Boston in 86 days.

After 1856, Shooting Star sailed in the Asia and China trade.[2]

Shooting Star made a 264-day circumnavigation.[1]



  1. ^ a b Gleason, Hall (1937). Old Ships and Ship-Building Days of Medford. Medford, MA: J.C. Miller. p. 73.
  2. ^ a b c d e Howe, Octavius T.; Matthews, Frederic C. (1927). American Clipper Ships, 1833-1858. Vol. 2, Malay - Young Mechanic. Salem, MA. pp. 571–573.
  3. ^ Bruzelius, Lars (1997). "The New Clipper Ship "Shooting Star", of Boston". "Boston Daily Atlas", March 6, 1851. The Maritime History Virtual Archives. Retrieved October 2, 2015.