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Camper & Nicholsons Archive
December 2022 Newsletter

In our last newsletter we described several of the majestic motoryachts built by C&N between 1922-1937. This December newsletter features three of the most magnificent yachts designed and built during that exceptional C&N design and production period: two of the largest motoryachts ever built by the shipyard, Crusader and the even larger Philante, and the 23 Meter Rule cutter Candida.

Yard n°361 CRUSADER

This yacht was designed by C.E.Nicholson and built in our Southampton yard in 1929 for Mr. A. Kingsley Macomber. We had previously built for Mr Macomber the 546 ton YN 341 Crusader in 1927.
An interesting extract from the book by John Nicholson, “Great Years in Yachting”:
Yard Number 361 Crusader was built as an all steel twin screw motor yacht to com- ply with Lloyd’s + 100 A1 L.M.C. requirements. She was the last large motor yacht to be built with a flush deck but with a long monkey island foredeck and a short one aft. Her profile was also worked on by her owner and longtime captain John Evans.
She was launched on the 29th November 1928 and ran trials on the 14th February 1929. Her maiden voyage Southampton to Monaco, 1,928 miles, averaged 13.81 knots at 154 r.p.m.
Her home port was given as New London, Connecticut, but she cruised widely. In, we believe 1941, while moored on the trots at Gosport, a bomb passed right through her without exploding, but sank her. A few years later she was raised and towed round to the Southampton yard where she was found to be non repairable and was scrapped.
Length Overall 223.2’
Length Between Perpendiculars 210.0’
Length Waterline 204.0’
Beam 31.2’
Depth Moulded 18.5’
Draught Aft     (Half Load) 13.4’
Displacement (Half Load) 956 tons
Displacement (Full Load) 1053 tons
Thames Measurement 926 tons
Machinery                                          two Sulzer Bros. 6 cylinder diesels.
                                                          780 H.P. at 170 r.p.m.
Crusader from the Southampton Data Book:

Yard n°442 PHILANTE
This yacht was designed by C.E.Nicholson and built in our Southampton yard in 1937 for T.O.M. Sopwith. The building was overseen by Harry P. White. She was the largest yacht built by Camper & Nicholsons. We had previously built for Mr Sopwith the 12 Metre Doris in 1925, the 340 ton motoryacht Vita in 1926, the 12 Metre Mouette in 1928, the 502 ton motoryacht Vita in 1929, the J Class Endeavour in 1934 and the J Class Endeavour II in 1937. We also built a further 12 Metre Tomahawk for him in 1939.
Philante had her first voyage to America in June 1937 for the America’s Cup, taking 9 days and averaging 14.39 knots. She cruised widely, going to the Galapagos two years running. One year she was fortunately able to rescue the Duke of Sutherland and his crew when his 830 ton diesel yacht Sans Peur III holed herself on a rock and had to be beached on a totally barren island in a remote part of Mexico, losing all their stores and water.
Philante was taken over by the Admiralty at the outbreak of WWII and most of her peacetime crew stayed with her, including her Captain Donald McKillop as 1st Lieutenant. She was first an anti submarine escort vessel and then was converted to a sloop for convoy work to Freetown and North Africa. At the end of the war she was in Scotland taking U-boats into Loch Eriboll.
Philante was returned to Sir Thomas Sopwith in 1947. In June 1948 the Norwegian people bought her and presented her to King Haakon VII and renamed her Norge. Camper & Nicholsons Southampton carried out the refit. She has subsequently had several refits in Norway, particularly after a disastrous fire in 1985, but is still the Norwegian Royal Yacht.
The Royal Yacht Norge was a gift from the people of Norway to King Haakon VII in 1947, purchased in the wake a nationwide collection effort. The ship is owned by His Majesty The King, but is manned and maintained by the Royal Norwegian Navy. The Royal Standard is flown from the aftermost mast when the King is on board the Royal Yacht.
At anchor off Hanko in 2017:

Yard n°362 CANDIDA
This yacht was designed by C.E. Nicholson and built in our Gosport yard in 1929 for
H.A. Andreae. She was designed to the 3rd International Rule as a 23 Metre composite bermudan cutter and was built with 2 1/4” mahogany planking on steel frames, all to comply with Lloyd’s + 18 A1 requirements. She was launched on the 25th of April, 1929.
Candida was the last large yacht to be built to the International Rule having followed the 23 Metre Astra built the previous year. From 1930, all racing yachts larger than 12 Metres were built to the Universal Rule such as the J-Class. Candida was updated each year, including a metal mast and keel and rig alterations as Mr Andreae was one of the new breed of skilled sailors who steered their own yacht.
One of the most iconic pictures of C.E. Nicholson racing at the helm of Candida.
Candida racing downwind in a good breeze.
  • In 1931 she had a centerboard fitted but this was removed in 1937.
  • In 1937 she was converted for cruising with a bermudan ketch rig and Gardner 5L3 85 H.P. diesel.
  • In 1939 she was converted to yawl rig.
  • In September 1946 she sailed to the Mediterranean.
  • From 1989 to 1991 she had a major refit at Beconcini’s shipyard in La Spezia and was returned to her racing cutter rig albeit with all new systems and a 322 H.P. MB 846 A Caterpillar diesel.
  • She was racing in the 1991 Nioulargue Regatta and more recently in the Spetses Regattas in Greece in 2011 and 2012.

Particulars (Original)


Length Overall


Length Between Perpendiculars


Length Waterline






Thames Measurement

174 tons

Official Number


Sail No

K 8

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cnyachting · Borgo Santi Apostoli 29 · Firenze, FI 50123 · Italy

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