In the mid nineteenth century, there were no big differences between the American clipper designers as William H. Webb, John W. Griffiths, and Donald McKay in designing a hull. Most of the time the costs were the leading red line. There were clippers with a sharp deadrise and there were the flat floored clippers. But of course, there was the discussion about the form. Which form was faster and which form had a better performance?
The flat bottom clipper had a flat floored midsection. A V-bottom clipper had a sharp dead rise.
The advantage of the first one was the lower prismatic coefficient, and there was also the idea that the flat bottom creates a bigger lift.
The flow around the V-bottom hull was most of the times easier. Only by increased length, beam, or depth the costs of a V-bottom clipper were much higher.
For his larger ships Donald McKay chose a flat bottom clipper. He built Great Republic in 1853 at his yard in East Boston. The huge wooden ship was the largest extreme clipper ship ever constructed, designed to carry 6.000 tons deadweight. The dimensions were 335 feet by 53 feet by 38 feet.
But there were two Great Republic’s. Unfortunately, the original was destroyed by a fire that broke out on shore and spread to the ship. The second Great Republic, reconstructed in New York, made her first voyage in February 1855, and sailed for Liverpool. She could easily reach an average speed of 19 knots. Great Republic was known by her fast voyages. In 1868 she was renamed Denmark and in 1872 the ship sailed from Rio de Janeiro to St. John. Near Bermuda the ship began to leak alarmingly and went down. Luckily the crew reached Bermuda safely.
Main dimensions Windtrader 5000:
Length (L.w.l.) 98,73 m
Beam 15,86 m
Depth 12,09 m
Draft 8,80 m
Displacement 8.264 tons
Deadweight 5.019 tons
Sailing area 3.337 m²
Type of sail plan: Dyna fregatschip