Evening stormy sea, two ships (one two-masted and one-three). Row boat at center headed toward ship in background.
Clipper ships were the fastest ships of the great age of sailing. The name was derived from their speed, “clipping” significant time off of marine voyages. The clipper ship is an American invention and although the vessels were not initially designed as cargo carriers, they later served in this capacity. Some clipper ships were first designed as pilot boats, accompanying other vessels through unpredictable and treacherous waters.