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Yachtsnet's archive of boat details and pictures
 

The following information and photographs are displayed as a service to anyone researching yacht types. HOWEVER THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COVERED BY COPYRIGHT, AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF YACHTSNET LTD. Details and photographs are normally based on one specific yacht, but could be a compilation. No reliance should be placed on other yachts of the same class being identical.  Where common variations exist, we have endeavoured to indicate this in these archive details.

Nicholson 32

Brief details

Builder

Camper & Nicholson/Halmatic

One of the classic long-keel cruisers, the Nicholson 32 was one of the first boats to be designed from the outset for GRP production. The Nicholson 32 remained in production for almost 20 years, in various Marks ranging from Mk I to Mark XI. The interior is small compared to modern 32-footers, but the boats are greatly loved by many serious sailors for their seaworthiness and strength. One result of this is that many Nicholson 32s have had a hard life of long-distance cruising.

LOA

32' 0"

Sail area

594 sq ft

LWL

24' 0"

Rig

Sloop

Beam

9' 3"

Cabins

saloon + 1

Draught

5' 6"

Berths

4/5

Displacement

13,693 lbs

Engine

various

Ballast

6,834 lbs

BHP

10 - 35

Keel type

Long keel with encapsulated lead ballast

Nicholson 32 sailplan

The Nicholson 32 was designed in 1962 by Peter and Charles Nicholson of Camper & Nicholsons, then one of Britain's most prestigious custom boatbuilders, as a good value mid-sized cruising boat. The Nicholson 32 was the first time the company had set up series production, and early boats were completed by an aircraft company under contract, as Nicholson's yard was not set up for mass production.

The Nicholson 32's long-keel hull was a development of the wooden South Coast One Design hull form, and was aimed as a cruiser-racer type. The waterline length of 24 ft was at the time the minimum allowed to compete in offshore racing events.


The hulls were all moulded by Halmatic, and from 1966 onwards the boats were both moulded and completed by Halmatics. The design went through many minor modifications over the years from Mk I to Mk VIII, and the last boats built (Mk X and Mk XI from 1972 to 1981), had modified mouldings and a slight increase in hull size. Around 370 Nicholson 32s were built by Halmatic over the years, with a few more made in Australia. Few other yacht designs of this size have remained in production for such a long period. Prices when new ranged from £4,900 in 1964 to £24,000 in 1980

Nicholson 32

By modern standards Nicholson 32s are massively strongly built, and remain popular as economical go-anywhere cruisers. They have a very high reputation for seaworthiness, many having made long ocean passages.

Nicholson 32
Nicholson 32
Nicholson 32

Yachts seen here are no longer for sale - the data is online as a free information service for buyers researching boat types. THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COVERED BY COPYRIGHT, AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF YACHTSNET LTD.

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The forecabin berths are about 6' 4" long on the vee, with an infill to make a triangular double, very wide at the aft end but narrow forward.

The heads compartment is between saloon and forecabin, with a marine WC to port, and (not shown) a washbasin and lockers to starboard.

The interior of the Nicholson 32 was clearly designed in the age of regular chartwork, with a large stand-up chart table by the companionway. A coolbox is fitted under the aft end of the chart table. The saloon has two berths 6'3" long, with the port side berth converting to a narrow double (37" wide). Saloon headroom is a maximum of 6' 0" aft.

Photographs of a very original and well looked after example of a Mk VI Nicholson 32

Nicholson 32

A wide variety of engines were fitted to Nicholson 32s over the years, many of the early boats having petrol engines. The most common engines fitted were 20 to 30 hp Watermota petrol or diesel engines - marinised versions of Ford engine blocks. The Sabb diesel was another option.

 

The Mk VI boat illustrated had her original single-cylinder Sabb diesel of just 10 hp, small by today's standards, but driving a large fixed prop, giving very adequate auxiliary propulsion.

Nicholson 32
Nicholson 32
Nicholson 32

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