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All aboard the Cutty Sark at Greenwich

Love this old ship, at the time one of the fastest tea clipper ships around.

Thanks to its unique bow design that included a base covered in Muntz Steel that prevented barnacles from growing and slowing it down, the Cutty Sark could achieve record breaking speeds of up to 17.5 knots (32.4 km/h; 20.1 mph).

During the latter part of its life, it traded in wool and could travel up to 300 miles per day, taking 78 days to get from the wool producing areas of Australia to Britain.

Cargo of tea was could amount to £18 million in today money, and speed was of the essence, not least as there was a significant premium on the first tea of the season.

An absolute beauty of a ship, although the sleek and beautiful lines have been compromised by the way that Grimshaw Architects have been commissioned back in 2012 to display this marvel at a suspended height of 3 metres and encased in a big, ugly bubble. In fact, it won the 2012 Carbuncle Cup, awarded to awful design. Fire has not been a great friend to this clipper, and although it has suffered on a couple of occasions, it is good to know that 90% of the wood is original.

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