Westward Ho! (clipper)

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Clipper Westward Ho (1852).jpg
Westward Ho!
United States
Name: Westward Ho!
Owner: Sampson & Tappan
Builder: Donald McKay, East Boston
Launched: Sept 24, 1852
Owner: Sold to Don Juan de Ugarte, of Lima, Peru, for the coolie trade
Acquired: 1857
Fate: Caught fire and sank, Feb. 24, 1864, in the harbor at Callao, Peru.
General characteristics
Class and type: Extreme clipper
Tons burthen: 1600 tons, 1650 tons OM
Length: 220 ft LOA
Beam: 40 ft. 6 in.
Draft: 23 ft. 6 in.
Notes: 2 decks[1][2][3]

Westward Ho! was an 1852 extreme clipper which made two very fast passages to San Francisco, 100 days from Boston and New York City. She had a very close race with Neptune's Car, and ended her days in the coolie trade.


Westward Ho! had long, very sharp ends, with concave lines. Her frame was of white oak, and planking of hard pine. She was copper fastened, with yellow metal sheathing. The hull was painted black, the inside buff relieved with white, the waterways blue.

The finish work below decks was quite fancy, with rosewood, mahogany, carvings, gold ornamentation, and paneled mirrors. Some of the cabins had stained glass windows with Venetian blinds. The figurehead was a Native American warrior giving chase.[3]


  • Boston to San Francisco
107 days, Capt. Johnson, 1852
100 days, 18 hrs., Capt. Johnson, 1855
  • New York to San Francisco
107 days, Capt. Johnson, 1852
105 days, Capt. Hussey, 1853
100 days, 1856

Race to San Francisco[edit]

Westward Ho! made a very fast passage to San Francisco between January 12 and April 22, 1855, under Capt. Johnson. She arrived in San Francisco just 100 days and 18 hours from Boston Light. One day later, the clipper Neptune’s Car left Sandy Hook, New York. She arrived in San Francisco one day after Westward Ho!, after a passage of 100 days, 23½ hours.[2]

Coolie transport to Peru[edit]

In 1856, Westward Ho! brought 800 coolies from Swatow to Callao, for work in the guano deposits.[2]

Loss of the ship[edit]

Westward Ho! caught fire on Feb. 27, 1864, at anchor in Callao.[2]


  1. ^ Crothers, William L. (1997). The American-Built Clipper Ship, 1850–1856: Characteristics, Construction, Details. Camden, ME: International Marine. pp. xvi, etc. ISBN 0-07-014501-6. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Bruzelius, Lars (1997-10-18). "Clipper Ships: "Westward Ho" (1852)". The Maritime History Virtual Archives. Retrieved July 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "The New Clipper Ship Westward Ho! of Boston". The Boston Daily Atlas. Boston: The Maritime History Virtual Archives. September 21, 1852. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 

External links[edit]