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Camper & Nicholsons Archive
August 2021 Newsletter

Quoting the July 2012 article from Lloyd Register, ‘The History of International Yachting & The America’s Cup’, we find the great cultural, scientific importance and foresight of Charles Nicholson in the Yachting History.
In 1906, Charles E. Nicholson of Camper and Nicholson succeeded in persuading a client to build a large racing yacht to the Lloyd's Register Rules for Yachts, formulated some years earlier. The yacht was Nyria and she proved that strength and speed could be successfully combined. This example was instrumental in a decision by a new international rating committee, that included the Yacht Racing Association, to establish scantlings for racing yachts and make Lloyd's Register class mandatory for all racing yachts built to the International Rule (IYRU Metre class). This came into effect throughout Europe on January 1st, 1907. The Rule was to stay in force for 10 years, and was then extended to 1919 when the Second Rule was launched. The 1933 Third Rule is still in use, albeit with some modifications.

Nyria, Yard N°173. Charles Ernest Nicholson proposes the construction of a racing yacht that adheres to the specifications of Lloyds for the dimensions of construction materials.

Nyria lasted for many years: adapting to changes in rules and rating regulations, among the first boats to adopt the Marconi rig when it came into vogue, she continued her life as an excellent cruising vessel.
This example was instrumental in the decision for the new International Metric Rule to apply Lloyd's regulations for construction. The great George Lennox Watson, designer of Britannia and Valkyrie II in 1893, and of over 400 other boats, most of which were masterpieces, was the most respected structuralist of his day. He never designed metric boats because he died at the end of 1904 (and Metric Rules came into effect in 1907), but his words of praise are those of the Lloyds engineers who provided the correct sizing of structures for the construction of wooden, steel and composite yachts. Watson said: “Trained designers and experienced, educated yachtsmen have no difficulty and will have no problem in choosing a yacht's structural design on their own, but ordinary people have a great reverence for Lloyds' charts, which are like the Pommery label on a bottle of Champagne, the certainty of the goodness of the product. It's a matter of trust!”

Yard N°173, NYRIA         
The yacht was designed by C.E. Nicholson and launched from our Gosport yard in 1905. Designed to the 80 foot Linear Rating Rule and built to Lloyd’s + 20 Years requirements for Robert W.N. Young who was a prominent yachtsman.

Nyria -Designed as an 80 foot Linear Rater after the creation of the new Metric International Rules (1907), its design and structural concepts laid the basis for the exceptional 23 M Margherita, and later Astra and Candida.
In 1912 she was converted from gaff cutter to gaff ketch rig and fitted with a Parsons paraffin 4 cylinder engine. By the end of 1919 she was owned by Mrs R.E. Workman who removed the engine and returned her to a Marconi cutter rig in 1920 and in 1921 was the first large cutter to be Bermudan Rigged.
Nyria in 1921 racing with the extremely innovative Bermudan Rig. At the time this rig caused the traditional yachting pundits alarm, but since then Bermudan Rig became the racing rig of the Metric Class..
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