• George Nicholson

The Nicholson Heritage

George Nicholson, who joined the company in 1961, reflects on more than half a century of excellence and innovation.

"It takes a long time to build a lasting brand; in our case, Camper & Nicholsons can thank my ancestors. I have seen a great many changes over the years. When we started in 1960 there were no private harbours and such yachts as existed were either in Cannes or Monaco."

"In spite of the trade unions being largely responsible for the closure of the big yacht-building yard in Southampton in 1975, the smaller historic Gosport yard kept going until about 2000. A lot of boats were produced and the quality was such that most are still afloat. The closure of the Southampton yard, however, was fortuitous as it freed up the company, and notably myself, to place orders in other yards. The rest is history. We opened sales offices in Antibes, Monaco, Cannes and London as the UK was, and still is, a major yacht-owning country. Our presence in Palma was the result of the Club de Mar being opened and was an immediate success, and later came our US offices."

"The industry is very different now. The volume of yachts afloat increases daily and there is a widespread, high-quality infrastructure that is just about keeping pace with the number of yachts being produced. I think the vibe is still there. People are passionate about their boats and the increase in the number of large sail boats is particularly gratifying — the notion that they are greener probably helps."

"The real challenge for the future lies in the ability of the top yards to continue designing, building and delivering these ever-more sophisticated yachts, and to find the multitude of highly talented subcontractors to deliver the requirements of the owners and their architects. Camper & Nicholsons will continue to support them and looks forward to celebrating many more innovations in the world of luxury."

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