During the American Revolution, the American need for fast and highly maneuverable, lightly armed schooners expanded upon our development of sea-worthy pilot schooners. But it was with the urgent requirements for larger vessels than pilot schooners that the Baltimore Clipper design became available; these were turned out by the dozens in the Chesapeake.
The Baltimore Clipper quickly chalked up an extraordinary record of commerce-raiding; extending through the English to the great chagrin of the Royal Navy. Not until 1813 were they able to capture a Baltimore Clipper, then at anchor in the mouth of the Rappahannock River, did they have what they wanted "Lynx", of which Howard Chapelle wrote: a "beautiful vessel ... an example of the highest development of the Baltimore Clipper".
A copy of the lines for this model was obtained from the Greenwich Maritime Museum, London. The key historical source is Chapelle's The Baltimore Clipper. The key dimensions for Lynx were:
Length on Deck: 94' Deadrise: 30 degrees Breadth: 24' Tons: 223 Hold Depth: 10' Sail Area: 10,000 sq.ft. Keel Depth (aft): 13' Rake of Masts: 15 degrees
The Lynx model shown here was scratch-built by Melvin A. Conant, Commodore of the Great Schooner Model Society, using a scale of 1/24 (ie. 1 inch equals 2 feet) and was finished in 1988. The hull, including frames and keel are made of oak; masts and spars of pine and oak. The model departs in two instances from the original set of drawings; the rudder area is twice the wetted surface of the original, and the model has an 8 lb. keel necessary for a sailing model.
While some Baltimore Clippers had a fore gaff topsail set, others did not because of the instability of the original designs. The model does not set such a sail for the same reason.