Westward Ho was the creation of designer Donald McKay and built in East Boston. Launched in 1852 at the height of the clipper era, the ship had a distinguished record of consistently fast passages. The time of the clippers, however, was nearly as fleeting as the ships themselves. After all the planning, skill, and workmanship, and nearly a year of building, Westward Ho was sold after only five years to interests in Peru. She began a new career transporting workers in the guano and nitrate trades between China and Peru. In 1864, she caught fire at anchor at Callao while preparing to sail for China.