An extreme composite clipper built in 1865 by Robert Steele & Co., Greenock, for Shaw, Lowther, Maxton & Co. Dimensions: 197'4×33'9"×21', tonnage 1058,73 tns, 853 NRT.
She had 100 tons of fixed iron ballast moulded into the limbers. An undated sail-plan in the Science Museum, London, shows her rigged with double top-sails and main skysail.
1865 June 29
Launched and put on the China tea trade.
1865 October 14 — January 6
Gravesend — Hong Kong, 79 days 21 hours, pilot to pilot or 83 days anchor to anchor, against the monsoon.
In the Great Tea Race of 1866 Ariel docked at East India Docks 20 minutes before Taeping docked at the London Docks.
Came second after Sir Lancelot beaten by ? hours after 99 days from Foo-Chow in the Tea Race of 1867.
Arrived as the first ship to London in the Tea Race of 1868, one hour ahead of Taeping.
Posted missing outward bound for China.
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