Loch Tay was one of the original six clippers with which Messrs. Aitken & Lilburn started their Loch Line in 1869-70. Built of iron by Barclay, Curle at Glasgow and launched in 1869, she was registered at 1,191 tons and measured 225½ feet in length with a 35 foot beam. Although her sister Loch Katrine entered service ahead of her, Loch Tay's maiden passage of 73 days from the Clyde to Hobson's Bay (Australia) was the fastest of all the sisters and her best week's run on that voyage was over 2,000 miles. For her first few years in the Australian wool trade, she rarely took longer than 80 days to get home and soon acquired a solid reputation for speed which never left her. Converted to a barque in the 1890s, when falling freight rates necessitated reducing crew costs, she was eventually sold out of the 'Wool Fleet' early in the century and ended her days as a coal hulk at Adelaide.