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Postby Anatol » Wed May 05, 2021 4:49 pm

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Her owners, Messrs. A. and J.H. Carmichael, considered this ship their favorite ship. She was launched in the same year as the Cutty Sark and was the smartest of a long list of iron clipper ships built by Barclay, Crule & Co.
Her gross tonnage was 1,318, but the interesting aspects of her measurements were that she was compared to Noah’s Ark (the Biblical ship of Noah.) The Golden Fleece measurements were 450 feet, 75 feet and 45 feet (if they are multiplied by 2.) In Comparison, Noah’s Ark measurements were 446 feet, 74 feet and 44 feet 6 inches. This is the basis for the owner’s claim that the Golden Fleece was a modern Noah’s Ark.
Whatever the case, the Golden Fleece was one of the handiest vessels ever built. Her first master, Captain Fife, said that she could be handled like a top and steered with a little finger. She was beautifully sparred, with the long main topgallant mast and skysail-yard, which gave an artistic look to Carmichael’s ships. She always raised the admiration of shipping men. Even the great Mr. Ismay indicated to her owners that he thought she was the handsomest sailing ship he had ever seen.
One has to be careful when talking of the Golden Fleece that he does not mix this clipper ship up with two other ships with the same name. The Golden Fleece sailed well both in hard weather and light, and was as good on the wind as off it. She handled so well that tugs were seldom needed when arriving in port. She once sailed into the port of Havre and hauled to her discharging berth without assistance. When she needed tugs, her owners had a hard time getting any tug service for her since she was usually unprofitable for the tub boat owners, needing very little assistance.
The Golden Fleece was a favorite ship and invariably got good charters. She received 40 shillings for Manchester goods from Liverpool to Calcutta, and 4 pounds 10 shillings from Calcutta to London. On one of her voyages she took the first Australian telegraph cable for Java and Europe, along with stores, stock and material, from Sydney to Port Darwin. This may have been on her third voyage, when her passage out to Sydney was made in 72 days.
Her next voyage was a round trip beginning in London, then Calcutta, Demerara, New Orleans and Liverpool. She undocked on May 1st, 1872 and docked on March 29th, 1873. One her next voyages she made a run of only 13 days from New York back to Liverpool. Her best passage to Calcutta was made in 1880, being completed in 79 days. Her best grain passage round the Horn was made in 1884. She left San Francisco on April 11th and anchored off Queenstown on July 25th, 104 days out.
In 1877 the Golden Fleece was involved in a race with the Argonaut, another of Carmichael’s ships. Although Argonaut was bigger (by 200 tons) and had a reputation of being a very fast sailor, the Golden Fleece beat her to the Downs from Calcutta in a time of 96 days, one day ahead of Argonaut.
The master’s of the Golden Fleece were Captain Fife, Captain Cook and Captain D. Brown, all of which later commanded other Carmichael ships. Although Golden Fleece was Carmichael’s favorite ship and was built with extra thick iron plates to last forever, she was unfortunately stranded on Fly Island and broken up,on December 27th, 1885.
The design stamp is made after painting of Jack Spurling.
Grenadines of St. Vincent 2020;(4x3) $
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