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Merrymaid is, without question, an extremely important yacht, designed by the world-famous Charles E Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholson. At 116 years old, Merrymaid is one of the oldest Camper & Nicholson yachts still sailing today. Merrymaid has a long and fascinating history, she really has seen it all. Measuring 111ft (34.1M) with graceful lines, she is a pleasure to behold.
Built in 1904 at the Camper & Nicholson yard in Gosport, UK she was the subject of a long and very meticulous restoration starting in 2001 and finally being finished by her current owner in 2006. Constructed from teak planks over oak frames, she currently still has approximately 80% of her original planking in place today, along with most of her original interior. Her rebuild was done extremely sensitively, ensuring she remained original but bringing her up to date to make her cruising comfortable for all.
Her charming interior is configured to allow sleeping for six guests in three en-suite cabins; a large master suite is in the aft and twin cabins on both port and starboard. In the bow of the Merrymaid there are three cabins allowing accommodation for six members of crew.
Merrymaid offers elegance, style and history. She has been meticulously maintained and is offered with a large inventory ready for her new custodian to write the next chapter of her story.
Merrymaid is, without question, an extremely important yacht, being designed by the world-famous Charles E Nicholson and built by Camper & Nicholson. At 116 years old, Merrymaid is one of the oldest C&N yachts still sailing today.
Built in 1904, Merrymaid has had an eclectic life. Originally built for Thomas Hardcastle and raced in the Solent with fellow big boat class members such as White Heather, Creole, Metor and Lulworth. She was the star of the show winning the King’s Cup in the presence of King Edward VII that year. Mr Hardcastle then went on to sell Merrymaid in 1905. By 1908 he had purchased her back, keeping her for further 10 years.
1914 was the year that many of the large yachts were laid up for the First World War. Merrymaid was laid up in a Norweigian Fjord. After the war, in 1919, she was acquired by Elizabeth Workman.
Mrs Workman restored Merrymaid’s rigging back to its original design and campaigned the yacht in the big boat class against the likes of the Royal Yacht Britannia and Lulworth. During this time Elizabeth worked closely with Charles Nicholson to develop a Bermudian rig which helped her already impressive performance. It should be noted that Merymaid was one of the first British yachts to have been rigged this way.
In 1929 she enjoyed a relaxed few years while cruising with Sir Thomas Royden with the occasional race regatta. The Second World War broke out and, like her fellow yachts, she was laid up for a second time, this time in Tollesbury, Essex. Merrymaid contributed to the war effort in her own way, her lead keel was removed for the production of bullets.
It was 1945 that Merrymaid was towed around to the Solent and moved to a mud berth in the River Hamble alongside the famous J Class Yachts, Endeavour, Velsheda and Lulworth, but it wasn’t long before she was returned to Essex and put into a mud berth on the Blackwater River, Essex to become a houseboat for Roy Squire.
Merrymaid’s life as a houseboat was long, some 49 years. The Squire family used Merrymaid as a second home and managed to preserve her, fixing leaks and keeping her from sinking into the mud. It was at this time that many of the large sailing yachts of this era were lost but due to the dedication of the Squire family, Merrymaid survived.
In 1994 Merrymaid’s fortunes turned a corner. She left her mud berth for the first time in over 50 years and was taken to Heybridge Basin in Essex where she patiently waited to be restored. In 2001 Didler Waechter purchased Merrymaid for restoration but sadly he passed away soon after and the restoration came to a halt in 2003.
2004, Merrymaid was seen in St Tropez partly finished and was purchased by her current owner in 2005 and taken to Southampton Yacht Services. Her restoration was completed using 21st century technology but keeping her original lines and beauty, making her a yacht capable of cruising in style and comfort.
It was in 2007 that Merrymaid left Southampton with an extremely delighted owner, who then started the next, and what can only be described as exciting, chapter of Merrymaid’s life. She set off on a 3 year tour of the world. She became the first gaff cutter to navigate the North West passage and visited some of the most remote and fascinating corners of the globe.
Upon her return, Merrymaid stopped in at Southampton Yacht Services and underwent a cosmetic overhaul to freshen her up ready for her tranquil life in the Mediterranean where she has been based for the past 10 years.
Merrymaid is an extremely important part of the yachting world, with over a century of enthralling history. Her next custodian will not only be proud to own her but will enjoy preserving her history and making new memories.
A charming interior is configured to allow sleeping for six guests in three en-suite cabins; a large master suite is in the aft and twin cabins on both port and starboard. In the bow of the Merrymaid there are three cabins allowing accommodation for six members of crew.
An extremely cosy saloon has two sofas and a dining table (on a ride and fall mechanism), there is wonderful lighting which comes through her central skylight. Gas fireplace and entertainment centre gives this space a wonderful ambience.
Spars by Collars
Sails by Contender in Dacron
Working: 483m2 (7,911sf)