Camper & Nicholsons Archive
October 2022 Newsletter
Between the two world wars Charles and Arthur Nicholson built the most comprehensive gamma of yachts the world had ever seen. We have already covered the legendary J-Class racing yachts for the America’s Cup (in Newsletter N°8) and the breathtaking three-masted schooners Aileè, Sonia II and Vira (N°10). But between 1922 and 1937 the leading yacht builders of the world also launched some of the greatest and elegant motoryachts ever seen. Several have survived and after incredibly refined restorations are sailing the world’s oceans. Among them are Sona of 554 tons; Crusader, 545 tons; Vita, 502 tons; Evadne, 581 tons; Malahne, 458 tons and Philante of 629 tons.
Each yacht was built to suit her owner and no effort was spared to ensure that his desires were carried out. Some, due to their exceptional size for the period, were built under C&N management in the large and well-organized yard of Frederick Blake, Ian McDonald and Harry White in Northam.
In those days motoryacht design generally featured straight stems or clipper bows and counter sterns, with Sona being the last motoryacht with these characteristics. The subsequent drawings of Charles E. Nicholson generally had a ram bow and a cruiser type stern.
Raised topsides also became the norm for the yachts of the interwar period. Perfect symmetry, proportion and perfection in the lines of these gigantic hulls assured magnificent results.
Let’s review some of the designs in this newsletter.