On Wednesday 28 September 1904, six weeks after her launch, the Wimmera was put to sea for the first time. From her berth at James Watt Dock she made her way out to the Clyde estuary and to the start point for the beginning of her sea trial.

As specified in the Agreement with Huddart Parker, the “Trial Trip or Trips [was] to be at sea off the Port of Greenock and adjacent coast [and would be] at the Builders’ expense.”

During the trial the Wimmera was expected to reach an agreed speed of at least 13 knots when laden with 2800 tons (her designed deadweight carrying capacity) with a mean draught not exceeding 21′ 5½”. However, if she failed to reach 12 1/2 knots then Huddart Parker had the option to refuse to accept her. On the other hand, if she exceeded 13 knots then the Company agreed to pay an additional sum to her builders.

From the Cloch lighthouse to the island of Ailsa Craig and return she was successfully tested. Her speed outward bound to Ailsa Craig reached 14.1 knots whilst on her return journey North she achieved 13.6 knots. Her mean draught on this trip was 20′ 10″.

Her builders would have been satisfied. An extra £100 per 1/10 knot up to a maximum total of £500 was to be paid to them should the Wimmera exceed 13 knots – and this was certainly achieved.

Cloch Lighthouse
Postcard. Author’s Collection.