Columbia (1899 yacht)

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Jsj-750-Columbia Shamrock 1899.jpg
Columbia vs. Shamrock, 1899.
Yacht club New York Yacht Club
Nation United States
Designer(s)Nathanael Greene Herreshoff
BuilderHerreshoff Manufacturing Company
LaunchedJune 10, 1899
Owner(s)J. Pierpont Morgan and Edwin Dennison Morgan
FateBroken up in 1913
Racing career
SkippersCharlie Barr
Notable victories
  • 1899 America's Cup
  • 1901 America's Cup
America's Cup1899, 1901
Displacement148.7 tonnes
Length40.15 m (131.7 ft) LOA
27.25 m (89.4 ft) LWL
Beam7.39 m (24.2 ft)
Draft5.97 m (19.6 ft)
Sail area1,189 m2 (12,800 sq ft)

Columbia was an American racing yacht built in 1899 for the America's Cup races. She was the defender of the tenth America's Cup race that same year against British challenger Shamrock [1] as well as the defender of the eleventh America's Cup race in 1901 against British challenger Shamrock II. She was the first vessel to win the trophy twice in a row[2] (a record not equaled until Intrepid's back-to-back wins in 1967 and 1970.)[3]


Columbia, a fin keel sloop, was designed and built in 1898-9 by Nathanael Herreshoff and the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company for owners J. Pierpont Morgan and Edwin Dennison Morgan of the New York Yacht Club. She was the third successful defender built by Herreshoff.[4]

Columbia had a nickel steel frame, a tobin bronze hull, and a steel mast[5] (later replaced with one of Oregon pine.)


Columbia, dismasted, 1899. Photograph by John S. Johnston.

Columbia was launched on June 10, 1899.[6] She easily won the elimination trials against the rebuilt former defender, Defender. Skippered by Charlie Barr, she won all three races against the British challenger, Shamrock, in the 1899 America's Cup. Notably, Hope Goddard Iselin was the only female on the crew, serving as afterguard.[7]

Columbia was selected again in 1901 to defend the Cup, and again under the command of Charlie Barr, won all three races against Shamrock II.[7]

In 1903 Columbia was refitted with the hope of being selected for a third time, but she was badly beaten in the selection trials by the yacht Reliance.[7]

Columbia was broken up in 1915 at City Island and sold to Henry A. Hitner and Sons of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for scrap.[8]

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ "Columbia winning the cup". LibraryOfCongress. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  2. ^ "America's Cup yacht: Columbia 1899 and 1901". Fine Rare Prints Antique Prints and Maps. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  3. ^ "America's Cup Defenders & Challengers 1851-2017". 2018.
  4. ^ "Herreshoff, Nathanael - 2011 Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  5. ^ "Herreshoff, Capt'n Nat (1848-1938) USA". Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  6. ^ "Image 3 of New York journal and advertiser (New York [N.Y.]), June 12, 1899". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  7. ^ a b c "COLUMBIA'S STORY". Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  8. ^ "Racing yacht queen now mass of junk". Evening Public Ledger. Philadelphia, PA. August 10, 1915. p. 3.