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Ragione sociale : Camper & Nicholsons LTD
Data fondazione : 1782
Situazione: ATTIVO
Tipo: Costruttore
Produzione prevalente: yacht prima in legno, in acciaio e poi in GRP
Indirizzo: GOSPORT


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Since 1782 Camper & Nicholsons has been synonymous with elegant sailing and motor yachts built to the very highest standards. The company’s reputation for quality is second to none and its record in constructing some of the most famous yachts in the World is legendary.

The first known powered vessels built by Camper & Nicholsons were three steam yachts of around 50’ launched in 1872. From that point onwards the drive for bigger and better steam yachts was relentless, reaching its zenith just after the turn of the century with three magnificent vessels – SAGITTA , MIRANDA and MARYNTHEA. Sagitta was 211’ long and was launched in 1908 for the Duc De Velancay, whilst Miranda was 206’ and was built for Lord Leith of Fyvie in 1909. The last was Marynthea, also 211’, built for J H Mason in 1911. By 1913 the development of the diesel engine was far enough advanced that Camper & Nicholsons was able to build its first diesel powered motor yacht, the 150’ PIONEER for Paris E Singer. The introduction of diesel and petrol engines meant that smaller motor yachts and launches were now much more practical and it was in 1912 that Camper & Nicholsons launched the first of their 50’ Gelyce motor launches, which had an impressive 20 knot top speed.

The outbreak of the First World War saw Camper & Nicholsons switch to designing and building military craft including Coastal Motor Boats, which were capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. During this period Camper & Nicholsons also became heavily involved in the development of the flying boat, initially for wartime use but later for the newly emerging commercial airline industry. The years between the First and Second World Wars were the heyday of large yacht construction with over twenty motor yachts between 100’ and 270’ launched during that period. Perhaps the most famous of these is the 263’ PHILANTE , built for TOM Sopwith in 1937 as a tender to his J Class America’s Cup challenger ENDEAVOUR, also built by the yard. During the Second World War Philante was converted for military service and she then returned to Camper & Nicholsons after the war to be reconverted to a yacht and renamed NORGE for the Danish Royal Family. Norge continues to be a familiar sight in yachting venues around the World providing a home away from home for HM King Harald of Norway and his family. The Second World War again saw production switch to military craft including Motor Gun Boats, Motor Torpedo Boats, Minesweepers, Air Sea Rescue Launches and numerous other small vessels and landing craft. The company was also involved in many “special” projects such as the design and construction of Surf Boats for the landing and retrieval of agents on enemy beaches.

In the immediate aftermath of the war and with the cold war looming Camper & Nicholsons continued to be involved with special military projects including the installation of the World’s first gas turbine engine in a boat, a project considered to be of such importance that the vessel was sunk upon successful completion of trials to prevent it falling into enemy hands. The design and construction of a hydrofoil launch was another interesting new development pioneered by Camper & Nicholsons during this period. The late 1950s and early 1960s saw a revival in the motor yacht business and the introduction of many technological developments from welded steel plating, replacing the more traditional riveting, to GRP and aluminium hulls. Although post war austerity meant that the huge yachts of the interwar years were a thing of the past the market for motor yachts between 50’ and 105’ was still buoyant. In 1957 GRP was the new wonder material and Camper & Nicholsons led the way for the marine industry by building a 56’ GRP motor yacht called EMGENT, then the largest yacht in the World to have been built in GRP. Another ground breaking motor yacht was the 65’ RHEAM, launched in 1977, which was Camper & Nicholsons first all aluminium high speed motor yacht.

Camper & Nicholsons’ association with leading power boat designer Ray Hunt began in the 1960s with three design collaborations on high performance luxury motor yachts and two high speed launches. The first of these projects was the 85’ twin screw motor yacht PHILANTE V, built for TEB Sopwith in 1962. Using the new constant V hull configuration and with a plywood hull and aluminium superstructure for weight saving the yacht was the largest of its type at the time and proved a huge success. Following this success two further 83’ motor yacht projects with Ray Hunt were undertaken, the 1965 ERIDA II for Lord Grandard and then the 1970 HEDONIST for Michael Pearson, heir to Lord Cowdray. In each case Ray Hunt designed the hull whilst Camper & Nicholsons took charge of styling and interior design. After a period in the wilderness during the 1990s Camper & Nicholsons was acquired by Nautor Swan International in 2001. Re-launching Camper & Nicholsons Yachting Ltd in to the motor boat market was a key element of the new management’s strategy and so work was begun to locate design partners to help develop a new power boat worthy of the Camper & Nicholsons name, the result is the Endeavour 42.



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