Shooting Star (clipper)

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United States
Name: Shooting Star
Owner: Reed & Wade, Boston
Builder: James. O. Curtis, Medford, MA
Launched: Feb. 8, 1851
Acquired: Sold to a merchant from Bangkok, Thailand in 1862
Fate: Wrecked in 1867, off the coast of Formosa
General characteristics
Class & type: Extreme clipper
Tons burthen: 903 tons
Length: 171 ft (52 m). LOA
Beam: 35 ft (11 m) [1]

Shooting Star was a extreme clipper built in 1851 near Boston, in Medford, MA. She was the first "real clipper" 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]


The 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]

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


  • A second Shooting Star was built by Reed, Wade, and Co. in 1849. It was a 947 ton medium clipper. This ship was captured and burned by the Chickamauga, a Confederate privateer, on Oct. 31, 1864, when it was on a voyage from New York to Panama.[2]
  • An extreme clipper built in 1851, the Ino, was renamed Shooting Star after its sale in 1867. It was later re-rigged as a bark.[2]
  • A 1518 ton Class A1 ship named Shooting Star was built in Quebec in 1853.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gleason, Hall (1937). Old Ships and Ship-Building Days of Medford. Medford, MA: J.C. Miller. p. 73.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Howe, Octavius T.; Matthews, Frederic C. (1927). American Clipper Ships, 1833-1858. 2, Malay - Young Mechanic. Salem, MA. pp. 571–573.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links