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  • Brady Reynolds

Ship Breaker, Clipper Ships, and The Cutty Sark

The cutty sark is an iconic clipper ship that was used in the late 1800s and relates to the novel because of the fact that most of the ships that they travel on are clipper ships. The designs of these futuristic ships in Ship Breaker are similar and different from historical clipper ships. For instance, the clipper ship The Dauntless has a weapons system that can shoot cannons. “Equipped with rocket cannon and small missile systems for pirates” (PAGE 214-215 par 5-6). The Cutty Sark was never used for any kind or war and had no need for these weapons.

The Cutty Sark was a ship in the late 1800s used to transport goods such as wool and tea to India and China. This ship was one of the last clipper ships to ever be built because of the uprise of steam power and stood out as one of the fastest clippers ever to be built with top speed up to 21 mph. This ship consisted of over 11 miles of sails when all lined out together, and also had a main heist that was 153 ft tall.

Some of the things that are similar from the Cutty Sark and the futuristic clipper ships in Ship Breaker are the main design of the boat still having huge sails and a very aerodynamic design. Some of the differences are the cannons and defense systems that are from the book. Some of the most important differences between these two ships were the sails, the sails described in the story have massive sails that reach out into the sky to pull these ships to speeds around 60 mph. For the Cutty Sark, even being one of the fastest clippers ever made, it had a top speed of barely over 20. The Cutty Sark was also built to transport goods when the modern day clipper ships from Ship Breaker are built to transport people in the higher class and made more for comfort instead of moving materials. The rich enjoy the clipper ships because of the fact that they are so big and so fast without the use of oil, a fuel source that has become rare in the futuristic world of Ship Breaker.


“Cutty Sark History | The Story of Greenwich's Historic Ship.” Royal Museums Greenwich, Accessed 26 May 2023.


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