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Donald McKay, East Boston MA

Most recent update: February 23, 2013.


Donald McKay, a naval architect and shipbuilder of almost legendary status, moved in 1926 from Nova Scotia to New York City, where he worked for Brown & Bell and for Isaac Webb.   He started his own yard in Newburyport in 1841 but moved to East Boston in 1845.  The yard was located at the foot of Border Street, where General Ship was until fairly recently.  I think that the table below is close to complete but it may be that some of the ships listed were designed by McKay but not built by him.  If anyone has any additions or corrections, please send them to me at timcolton@aol.com

Hull # Original Name Original Owner Type LDT Built Disposition
Built in Newburyport
  Mary Broughton       1841  
  Ashburton       1842  
  Courier   Trading Ship 380 1842  
  St. George   Packet 845 1843  
  John R. Skiddy   Packet 930 1844  
  Joshua Bates   Packet 620 1844  
Built in East Boston
  Washington Irving White Diamond Line Packet 751 1845  
  Anglo Saxon White Diamond Line Packet 894 1846  
  New World   Packet 1,404 1846  
  Anglo American White Diamond Line Packet 704 1847  
  A.Z.   Packet 700 1847  
  L.Z.   Packet 897 1848  
  Daniel Webster White Diamond Line Packet   1848  
  Jenny Lind   Packet 533 1848  
  Ocean Monarch White Diamond Line Packet 1,301 1847 Burnt in North Atlantic 1848
  Helicon   Barque 400 1849  
  Reindeer   Clipper Ship 800 1849  
  Plymouth Rock   Packet 960 1849  
  Parliament   Packet 998 1849  
  Stag Hound George B. Upton Clipper Ship 1,534 1850 Burnt off Pernambuco 1869
  Moses Wheeler   Clipper Ship 900 1850  
  Sultana   Barque 400 1850  
  Cornelius Grinell   Packet 1,118 1850  
  Antarctic   Packet 1,116 1850  
  Daniel Webster   Packet 1,187 1850  
  Stag Hound   Clipper Ship 1,534 1850 Burnt off Pernambuco 1861
  Flying Cloud Enoch Train & Co Clipper Ship 1,782 1851 Wrecked on Beacon Island 1874
  Flying Fish Sampson & Tappan Clipper Ship 1,505 1851 Wrecked off Foochow 1858, rebuilt as El Bueno Succeso
  Staffordshire Enoch Train & Co Clipper Ship 1,817 1851 Wrecked off Cape Sable 1853
  North America   Clipper Ship 1,464 1851  
  Bald Eagle George B. Upton Clipper Ship 1,705 1852 Disappeared in the Pacific 1861
  Sovereign of the Seas Andrew F. Meinke Clipper Ship 2,421 1852 Wrecked in the Malacca Straits 1859
  Westward Ho Sampson & Tappan Clipper Ship 1,650 1852 Burnt in Callao 1864
  Chariot of Fame Enoch Train & Co Clipper Ship 2,050 1853 Lost at sea 1876
  Empress of the Seas William Wilson & Co Clipper Ship 2,197 1853 Burnt in Australia 1881
  Great Republic Low & Bros. Clipper Ship 4,555 1853 Lost at sea 1872
  Romance of the Seas George B. Upton Clipper Ship 1,782 1853 Disappeared in the North Pacific 1863
  Star of Empire   Clipper Ship 2,050 1853  
  Champion of the Seas Black Ball Line Clipper Ship 2,447 1854 Sank off Cape Horn 1877
  Commodore Perry Black Ball Line Clipper Ship 1,964 1854 Burnt near Bombay 1869
  James Baines Black Ball Line Clipper Ship 2,515 1854 Scrapped 1863
  Lightning Black Ball Line Clipper Ship 2,083 1854 Burned at Geelong 1869
  Blanche Moore   Clipper Ship 1,787 1854  
  Santa Claus   Clipper Ship 1,256 1854  
  Japan   Clipper Ship 1,964 1854  
  Benin   Schooner 692 1854  
  Donald McKay Black Ball Line Clipper Ship 2,598 1855 Burnt in Madeira 1888
  Zephyr   Clipper Ship 1,184 1855  
  Defender   Clipper Ship 1,413 1855  
  Mastiff George B. Upton Clipper Ship 1,034 1856 Burnt in the South Pacific 1859
  Henry Hill   Barque 568 1856  
  Minnehaha   Clipper Ship 1,695 1856  
  Amos Lawrence   Clipper Ship 1,396 1856  
  Abbott Lawrence   Clipper Ship 1,497 1856  
  Baltic   Clipper Ship 1,372 1856  
  Adriatic   Clipper Ship 1,327 1856  
  Alhambra   Clipper Ship 1,097 1858  
  R.R. Higgins   Schooner   1858  
  Benj. S. Wright     107 1859  
  Mary B. Dyer   Schooner   1860  
  H. & R. Atwood   Schooner   1860  
  General Putnam   Ship   1861  
  Trefoil   Ship 370 1864  
  Yucca US Navy Gunboat 1,375 1864 Sold 1868
  Ashuelot US Navy Gunboat 1,375 1865 Wrecked 1883
  Nausett US Navy Monitor 1,175 1865 Later Aetna 1869, scrapped 1874
  Squando US Navy Monitor 1,175 1865 Later Algoma 1869, scrapped 1874
  Geo. B. Upton   Ship 604 1866  
  Theodore D. Wagner   Ship 607 1866  
  North Star   Brig 410 1867  
  Helen Morris   Clipper Ship 1,285 1867  
  Sovereign of the Seas   Clipper Ship 1,502 1868  
  Frank Atwood   Schooner 107 1869  
  Glory of the Seas Donald McKay Clipper Ship 2,103 1869 Scrapped 1923
  Adams US Navy Gunboat 1,375 1876 Scrapped 1921
  Essex US Navy Gunboat 1,375 1876 Sold 1930