Completed in 1913 as Rennie Forrest’s yard number 1207, and designed to be “mosquito proof”, the Mansa Kila Ba was a composite triple screw administration yacht built for the Governor of Gambia. She was 110’x19’3″x7’0″, 5′ draft, and capable of 11 knots. Launched on 30/9/1913 by Lady Galoway the Governor of Gambia’s wife. The name means “Big King’s Messenger“.
She was not a “yacht” in the more usual sense, i.e. a pleasure craft, but a comfortable mobile administrative office. The three propeller shafts were essential to enable her to cope with strong currents that could be found in the River Gambia; her relatively shallow draft was also a prerequisite of river navigation.