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Captain George Moodie and the Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark 
The Building and Launch of the Cutty Sark
When John Willis (Old White Hat) decided to build a new ship to try to win the Blue Ribbon for the fastest tea-clipper to return from China, he chose Captain George Moodie to oversee the job. A new firm, Scott and Linton, (William Scott and Hercules Linton) was commissioned to build the new ship. They had never built such a large ship, having only launched one ship previously. The Cutty Sark was priced at £17 per tonne.
The keel was probably laid down in November 1868 - although the exact date is unknown, a joiner who began working on her in January 1869 thought the keel was laid about two months previously.
                                                                                                         John Willis - Old White Hat
About three months before the launch of the Cutty Sark, Scott and Linton were in financial difficulties. They approached John Willis, but he refused to increase his instalments. The company continued, but the day came when there was no money for the wages. An old shipwright who built the port quarter of the Cutty Sark, said that one day in August, Scott and Linton came to the men and told them there was no money for the wages, but it would be alright. The men carried on working without any fuss and were paid ten days later. He also reported that the Cutty Sark was ‘a class job’ in the opinion of all who worked on her. 
When the Cutty Sark was almost ready for launch in the first week of September, work was finally suspended. One of the reasons for the failure of the company was that Captain Moody was so particular over the timber and other materials used to build the ship. He searched every piece of wood for flaws – knots, sappy patches, shakes etc – and if any defect was found, the wood was rejected. This attention to the condition of the wood is undoubtedly one of the reasons why the Cutty Sark is still afloat at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich today.
 Hercules Linton and the Cutty Sark Bell
A meeting was held on 11 September with Scott and Linton’s creditors and it was decided to complete both the Cutty Sark and a three-masted schooner which was being built at the same time. The work was completed and the ship was launched on Monday, 23 November by Mrs Moodie, who was urged by Captain Moodie to 'be sure and gie a guid ca' to the bottle'. The bottle smashed on the ship’s bow, she received her curious name, Cutty Sark, and with the spectators cheering, slipped quietly into the water.
The ship’s name, Cutty Sark, comes from Robert Burns’ poem, Tam o’ Shanter. After a drinking spell Tam the farmer rode home on his mare, Meg, and met a young witch, Nannie, who was wearing only a cutty sark (a short shirt). She chased after Tam and when she caught up with him, pulled the tail off Meg. The figurehead of the Cutty Sark is of a woman with one hand stretched out.
The Blue Ribbon Race
Captain Moodie was the first captain of the Cutty Sark and stayed with her for the first three voyages. He was a first class, reliable Scots ship master, and able seaman, and handled the men well. Being a good business man was an asset as the success of a voyage was in the captain’s hands.
The first trip back from China in 1870 took the Cutty Sark 110 days, but the Thermopylae took only 105. Her second trip was shorter – 108 days, the Thermopylae was faster, taking only 106. The Cutty Sark could only run at 17 knots (32 km/h).                     
                                                                                            Cutty Sark racing Thermopylae
In 1872, on her third voyage the race with Thermopylae was in earnest. The Cutty Sark was 400 miles ahead when disaster struck and she lost a rudder in the Indian Ocean. Undeterred, Captain Moodie and the crew set to work to make a replacement. They worked a miracle in tossing seas and fitted a new rudder, saving the expense of going to a port for a refit. The rudder held for a month before all but one of the eyebolts gave way and the rudder detached from the post. They managed to repair it again and got under way in less than 24 hours, sailing into London less than a week behind the Thermopylae. Captain Moodie reported that he had very little   
sleep, and another week would have finished him. 
In 1900, after retiring, Captain Moodie donated the “red duster”, the flag of the Cutty Sark, to Methil Bowling Club which he founded. Unfortunately, it was stolen.
The Cutty Sark is now at the Greenwich Maritime Museum in London.