Serica (clipper)

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United Kingdom
Name: Serica
Owner: James Findlay
Builder: Robert Steele & Co., Greenock
Launched: 1863
Fate: Wrecked on the Paracels, 1872
General characteristics
Tonnage: 708 NRT[1]
Length: 185.9 ft (56.7 m)[1]
Beam: 31.1 ft (9.5 m)[1]
Depth: 19.6 ft (6.0 m)[1]
Complement: Crew of 23

The Serica was a clipper ship built in 1863 by Robert Steele & Co., at Greenock on the south bank of the Clyde, Scotland, for James Findlay.

Winner of 1864 Tea Race[edit]

Serica is Latin for "China"-- the ship was built expressly for the China tea trade. The Serica participated in the annual "tea races" to bring the new season's crop to London; she won in 1864 and finished second in 1865,[2] and in The Great Tea Race of 1866 came in third, by a matter of hours.

Sailing performance[edit]

According to Basil Lubbock, the tea clippers Serica, Fiery Cross, Lahloo and Taeping performed at their best in light breezes, as they were all rigged with single topsails. [3]

Loss of the ship[edit]

On her final voyage under Capt. George Innes, she left Hong Kong bound for Montevideo, 2 November 1872, and was wrecked on the Paracels, in the South China Sea the following day. Out of a crew of twenty-three that manned her, only one survived.[4](p146)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Lloyd's Register of Shipping. Lloyd's Register. 1871. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  2. ^ RootsWeb mailing list thread
  3. ^ Lubbock, Basil (1919). The China Clippers (4th ed.). Glasgow: James Brown & Son. p. 155. 
  4. ^ MacGregor, David R. (1983). The Tea Clippers, Their History and Development 1833-1875. Conway Maritime Press Limited. ISBN 0 85177 256 0. 

External links[edit]