Gambia’s Big King's Messenger

A mobile office for an African Colony's governor

John Collins (Nottage)

The Governor of Gambia's yacht built in 1913. Note the gantry that was next to the building slipway on the left of the picture and the church tower to the right.
Nottage Maritime Institute 02380..27 - Cropped

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.

This page was added on 23/03/2015.

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