Thermopylae - chromolithograph by M. Reilly
|Career (United Kingdom)|
|Builder:||Walter Hood & Co, Aberdeen|
|Notes:||Design of Bernard Weymouth, London|
|Career (Kingdom of Portugal)|
|Name:||Pedro Nunes or Pedro Nunez|
|Fate:||Torpedoed at sea, Oct. 13, 1907, off Cascais|
|Class & type:||Composite extreme clipper; naval training ship|
|Tons burthen:||991 GRT, 948 NRT|
|Length:||212 ft (64.6 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft (11.0 m)|
|Draught:||20 ft 9 in (6.3 m)|
Thermopylae was built for the Aberdeen Line, which was founded in 1825 by George Thompson. She measured 212'0" × 36'0" × 20'9", with tonnage 991 GRT, 948 NRT and 927 tons under deck. The under deck coefficient was 0,58. Rigged with royal sails, single topgallant and split top-sails.
Records set in tea trade
Thermopylae was designed for the China tea trade, and set speed records on her maiden voyage to Melbourne—63 days, still the fastest trip under sail.
Race with Cutty Sark
In 1872, Thermopylae raced the clipper Cutty Sark from Shanghai back to London. Thermopylae won by seven days after Cutty Sark lost her rudder. From 1882 onward, Thermopylae took part in the Australian wool trade; however, on this route the Cutty Sark proved faster.
In 1897 she was sold to Portugal for use as a naval training ship and renamed the Pedro Nunes. On 13 October 1907, the Portuguese Navy towed her down the Tagus river using two warships, and before Amelia de Orleans, Queen of Portugal, she was torpedoed with full naval honours off Cascais.
- Day, Thomas Fleming (1919), "Designs, Clipper Ship Thermopylae", Rudder (New York: The Rudder Publishing Co) 35 (December): 583–585, OCLC 1764636
- Hume, Cyril L.; Armstrong, Malcolm C. The Cutty Sark and Thermopylae Era of Sail. Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson, 1987 (hardcover, ISBN 0-85174-500-8).
- Matheson, Marny. Clippers for the record: The story of ship Thermopylae, S.S. Aberdeen, and Captain Charles Matheson. Melbourne: Spectrum, 1984 (ISBN 0-86786-051-0).
- Crosse, John; Thermopylae and the Age of Clippers. Historian Publishers, Vancouver.
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