Sir Robert Fernie

A four-masted steel barque built in 1889 by Russell & Co., Port Glasgow. Dimensions 95,26×12,71×7,43 meters [312'7"×41'9"×24'5"] and tonnage 2528 GRT, 2410 NRT, and 2473 tons under deck. The forecastle deck was 26 feet long and the bridge deck 56 feet. Two decks of which the upper was of iron [steel?] and sheathed with wood. Rigged with royal sails over double top and top-gallant sails. Sistership to Glencaird and Cairniehill.

Launched at the shipyard of Russell & Co., Port Glasgow, for W.J. Fernie, London. Assigned the British Official No. 95538 and Signal Letters LCKP. Used in the grain trade from Californa to Europe and nitrate trade from South America to Europe. The first master of the ship was Captain J.F. Cruikshanks.
Captain H.E. Betts.
Sailed from San Francisco to Queenstown for orders in 105 days, which was the best grain passage for that year.
1906 March 30 - June 11
Sailed from Chemainus to Valparaiso in 73 days. She was still in the harbour when the earthquake of August 16 struck.
1907 November 7
Sold to Reederei Gesellschaft "Nord" m.b.H. (Hubert Bode), Hamburg, and was renamed Elisabeth. Assigned the German signal letters RPSM. The new master was Captain Johann Wächter. Used in the South American nitrate trade.
Sailed from Lizard Point to Talcahuano in 78 days. From there she sailed in 21 days to Arica and then to Callao in 7 days.
1908 June 14
Sold at auction after the bankruptcy of the company to Compaña Peruana des Vapores y Digue, Callao, Peru, and used as a storage hulk.
Towed to San Francisco and was rerigged as a four-mast barque.
Was renamed Mario. Furrer indicate that she was sold or registered at San Francisco at this time.
1924 August 15
Was wrecked at Lobos Island when chartered to load guano at Lobos de Tierra for London.
Voyages for the Peruvians during 1917-1924:
From To Days Comment
Pudget Sound Callao 103
Peru Talcahuano 18
Talcahuano Callao 18
Peru Buenos Ayres 58
Buenos Ayres Copenhagen 73
Copenhagen Norfolk, VA 62 In ballast
Norfolk, VA Buenos Ayres 58
Buenos Ayres Rotterdam 68 Queenstown for orders
Cardiff Newcastle, NSW 97 In ballast
Newcastle, NSW Callao 76
Callao Columbia River45 In ballast
Columbia River Sydney, NSW 91
Newcastle, NSW Callao 73
From More Survivors of a Glorius Era.

There is a photograph of her in Basil Lubbock's The Last of the Windjammers Vol. II, facing page 80. Altough not a clear picture, there is nothing to support that she was rigged with skysails. It is easy to get this impression as the upper topgallant yard are hoisted as are the royal yards. This was a harbour style preferred by many captains.

Updated 1997-02-16 by Lars Bruzelius.

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.