Cimba (clipper)

StateLibQld 1 128373 Cimba (ship).jpg
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: Cimba
Owner: A. Nicol & Co. Aberdeen
Builder: A. Hood, Aberdeen
Launched: April 1878
Career (Norway)
Acquired: 1906 March, Sold to Norwegian owners.
Fate: Stranded near Pointe Des Monts, 26 July 1915
General characteristics
Class and type: Iron-hulled clipper
Tons burthen: 1174 GRT, 1117 NRT; 1022 tons under deck
Length: 223 ft.
Beam: 34 ft. 6 in.
Draught: 21 ft. 7 in.
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship. "Rigged with royals and with double topgallant sails on the fore and main masts."
Notes: British Reg. No. 77444; Signal RKJS[1]

Cimba was a British-built clipper in the Australian wool trade. She sailed between London and Sydney for 20 years, from 1878 to 1898. In 1905, Cimba set the sailing ship record for a passage from Callao to Iquique, of 14 days.[1]



Cimba was an iron-hulled ship, built in Aberdeen in 1878. Her hull was painted green with gold scrolls, a yellow stripe, white bulwarks and white paint aloft. A lion was her figurehead.[2]


Cimba was very heavily rigged, with her main lower masts a bit shorter than some clippers at 60 ft., and with heavy lower yards, the fore and main yards at over 4 tons apiece. She had the reputation of being a "tender" ship, i.e., heeling over easily under sail.[3]


Cimba sailed in the wool trade between London and Sydney for 20 years, from 1878 to 1898, and was a regular visitor to Port Jackson for almost 30 years. Her first captain, J. Fimster, served until 1895, at which time Captain J. W. Holmes took over until her sale to Norwegian owners in 1906. Captain Holmes had served as third mate aboard Salamis, chief mate on the clippers Blackadder and Hallowe’en, and commander of the ship Leucadia.

Under her Norwegian owners, Cimba's chief cargo was lumber. She carried firewood from the Baltic to East Indian Dock in Aberdeen Bay, and made a fast passage from Dublin to the St. Lawrence of 14 days.[3]

Point de Monts, Henry Richard S. Bunnett

Loss of the ship

Cimba was stranded in the fog near Pointe Des Monts, 1 mile west, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on 26 July 1915. She was enroute to Matane from Liverpool, and was the last sailing vessel to be lost in this area.[4]


  1. ^ a b Bruzelius, Lars (1997-05-06). "Sailing Ships: Cimba (1878)". Cimba. The Maritime History Virtual Archives. Retrieved Feb. 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ Winchester, Clarence; Hardy, A.C. (Arthur Cecil); Brown, Frank Charles (1936). Shipping Wonders of the World. 41-45. London: Amalgamated Press. p. 1312. OCLC 12715461. 
  3. ^ a b Lubbock, Basil (1921). The Colonial Clippers (2nd ed.). Glasgow: James Brown & Son. pp. 290, 292–295. OCLC 1750412. 
  4. ^ Brookes, Ivan S. (1974). The Lower St. Lawrence: a Pictorial History of Shipping and Industrial Development. Cleveland: Freshwater Press. p. 145. OCLC 1004161. 

External links

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