Camper and Nicholson’s first shipyard was founded by Frances Amos in 1782 in Portsmouth, Virginia sharing a harbor with the Royal Navel Dockyard. In 1908 Amos hired on his Nephew William Camper whose influence led to the company building small trading ships. By 1821 they had become an early leader in the boat manufacturing industry. Amos had no children so eventually Camper took over the lease in 1824. In 1842, Ben Nicholson was hired on as an apprentice and worked his way up to become head designer and eventually partner, thus the name Camper and Nicholson, which was officially formed in 1863. Today Camper and Nicholson International remain in the top of the boating industry being leaders and specializing in sales, purchases, chartering, marketing, management and custom construction of fine yachts. With their storied history Camper and Nicholson have a strong expertise and knowledge when it comes to the yachting marketplace. The Cutter Breeze, built in 1836, was the first Camper and Nicholson boat produced. The company has been bought and sold over the years and no longer build boats. They have now moved strictly into sales and overseeing custom boat builds for other companies.
It is unclear what year Camper and Nicholson stopped building boats but plenty originals can be found online for sale. Camper and Nicholson built a wide variety of boats in their day from sail oriented yachts to motorized yachts. Owners all seem in agreement that owning a Camper Nicholson boat is like owning a piece of history. One model that was well reviewed is the Nicholson 35 Blue Water Cruiser. This boat was build between the years of 1971 and 1985. The 35, by today’s views would be a cruiser although when it was first built it would have been considered a cruiser/racer. The hull on the 35 offers a low aspect fin keel. This keel design allows for good tracking along with quick response. The 35 has a handsome look still in fashion today 30 years later.
Since all Camper and Nicholson boats are used at this point they run the gamut price wise. Some examples are the Camper and Nicholson 45, 1975 at 45 feet, selling for $80,773 , the Camper Niche 48, 1974 at 47 feet selling for $165,000 and the 33m Semi Displacement 1971 at 109 feet selling for $360,000.
- Owners beam about owning a piece of history
- Camper and Nicholson are globally recognized for their master craftsmanship
- Owners claim their Camper and Nicholsons are luxurious and elegant
- Their older boats have outdated equipment
- Their older boats need more maintenance
- Their older diesel engines are less efficient
Nicholson 35 Blue Water Cruiser, the Camper and Nicholson 45, the Camper Niche and the 33m Semi Displacement 48.