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Charles E Nicholson 60 ft Ketch 1924 - Sold



Charles E Nicholson 60 ft Ketch 1924

Designer Charles E Nicholson
Builder W M Ford Sydney
Date 1924
Length overall 71 ft 4 in / 21.75 m
Length deck 59 ft 1 in / 18 m
Length waterline 42 ft 8 in / 13 m
Beam 14 ft 1 in / 4.3 m
Draft 7 ft 7 in / 2.3 m
Displacement 32.5 Tonnes
Construction Browns pine carvel planking on spotted gum frames
Engine Perkins M 115T 115 HP Diesel
Location Australia
Price Sold

These details are provisional and may be amended




Charles E Nicholson, in the top league of early 20th century designers, imbued HURRICA V with all the elegance of a classic yacht of the Edwardian era. Now restored, she lives on as an exemplar of the history of yachting and its legacy. There are few if any yachts with such a pedigree, provenance or good looks - yet with usability and in such fine fettle. The modernisation as a family yacht has been done wherever possible to maintain the character of her era, and discrete modern sailing systems enable shorthanded family use. While not original, the accommodation has been beautifully arranged yet is extremely practical to a degree that is rare in a classic yacht.



VAT is unpaid on this yacht



HURRICA V was a 1923 build gentleman’s triple-headed auxiliary ketch to a Charles E Nicholson design and built in Sydney by Australia’s premier boatyard W M Ford cost £10,000 and launched in March 1924 for William (Bill) Oliver a wealthy wool grazier of South Yarra Melbourne, who placed her on the Australian Register of British Ships. She was handed over to Oliver at Sydney in March 1924 and sailed to her home port RYCV at Williamstown Melbourne Victoria. She was placed on the Register of British Ships No.151812. Oliver was already 71 when the yacht was delivered as a private family vessel mainly for cruising, favouring Wilsons Prom and Bass Straight. Kept in magnificent condition by three full time live aboard paid hands, she was feature yacht at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria. During Oliver’s ownership the mizzen mast removed she became a Bermudan sloop and her hull copper sheathed. In 1938 Oliver became ill, the crew dismissed and by the time of her sale in 1941 she was dilapidated.

She was bought in this poor condition by William (Will) J Stuart of Darling Pt Sydney for £2,000. He had her internal layout remodelled, installed a new Bermudan rig & sail plan to design of Ali Barbour, with taller rig and short bowsprit.

In 1943 she was requisitioned by the Commonwealth of Australia Navy paying £3,250 for war service and cancelling her registration. Internal alterations were made and her rig and sails removed. A wheel house fly bridge & sponsons were added, a large machine gun was mounted on the foredeck, one each side of the cockpit and astern. She was further armed with depth charges. A new diesel main engine, genset & radios were installed and she was painted navy grey as HMAS 542 Stingray. She served principally on search & rescue in New Guinea & Mine Bay until 1946.

In 1946 William Stuart re purchased her for £1,650 in poor post war condition. He had her rebuilt back to her pre-war layout of the deck & interior, then to re sell her in 1948 as he had then bought the larger Fife ASTOR.

In 1948 Clifford (Dick) Crane of Wahroonga Sydney, bought her for use as a social family & business entertaining vessel on Sydney Harbour and Pittwater. The hull was re sheathed in Muntz metal and the boat given a new teak deck and New 65 HP Perkins diesel engine. Ships registration re-established at 1956 in which year her sailing master & crew held a 60 year reunion on board before a further sale.

Crane was a member of the RSYS, chairman of AMP & AGL and on the board of CSR and Henry (Harry) John Wormald of Cremorne Sydney. During holidays the family would sail to Pittwater and NSW coast. They had a timber dodger built over the cockpit. When Crane died the title transferred to wife Phyllis before immediate on-sale in 1963 to E John Shaw Jnr of Mona Vale Sydney - Shaws Sand & Gravel and a director of Clifford Love & Co.

It seems that John Shaw bought the boat in a swap for 3 residential blocks and 2 industrial blocks of land plus £3,000. He used her as a private family vessel based in Pittwater, Sydney. In 1963 they cruised to New Caledonia & the Loyalty Islands, successfully weathering a cyclone en voyage. John and his wife Jan lived on board at RPAYC in 1965. They undertook extensive refits in 1965 and again in 1982 including new bulwarks and teak deck, new raised coach house, diesel engine and new hollow masts. A large overlapping headsail was rigged and the rudder enlarged to rectangular profile to assist downwind control. Shaw had the interior stripped ready for a refit when 1983 recession hit and the vessel was left on mooring for years in derelict state. Shaw’s ownership over 23 years has been the longest.

From 1986 to 1997 Gary John Dover a builder of Sylvania Sydney bought her for AUD 40,000 with only the diesel engine inside. He had her rebuilt from the bare hull specifically for charter from Port Stephens NSW as THE GIFT, in recognition of his inheritance.
He had her fitted with a new cockpit hardtop. The mast head was made hydraulic folding to facilitate passage under bridges. In one incident she was left aground on her beam after a channel marker moved. She undertook a cruise for a religious mission to deliver medical supplies to Port Moresby & Milne Bay. Following another incident hitting a reef she was sold with deadwood damage but in fair commercial condition.

In 1997 Patrick Silver a retired banker in property management of Avalon Sydney purchased for social and occasionally live-aboard purposes, based again in Pittwater, she was given her original name HURRICA V. The Charter configuration was retained. Her topsides however splined and painted, her decks sanded and the cockpit hardtop removed. Among her cruises was one to Fiji. The Dover rig was retained complete with folding topmast. It seems that Silver had difficulty with upkeep maintenance, and the boat was again in a very poor state when offered to the market in 2001.

Annabel & Steve Gunns proprietors of Architrade Architects, of Roseville Sydney then acquired her specifically as a restoration project to be undertaken professionally by the famous Australian boatyard, Norman R Wright & Sons of Brisbane and who carried out the works detailed in the restoration section below.

Following her restoration HURRICA V She returned to her home port in February 2011 and made her maiden voyage across the notorious Bass Strait to Hobart.
emerging in 2011 for the Wooden Boat Festival there. Having looked over her at the Festival, marine historian writer Bruce Stannard of Maritime Heritage Press wrote “I have seen some amazing restorations over the years, but this was something quite extraordinary. She is a tribute to her owner Steve Gunns, his vision and his perseverance. She is without doubt, among the finest vessels of her type anywhere in the world”. HURRICA V’s historic status is recognised by listing in the Australian Register of Historic Vessels.



- Browns pine carvel planking copper roved spotted gum laminated hull frames
- Sheathed to waterline in English Muntz metal
- Ballast 10 tonne external bolted lead + 1.5 tonne internal
- Swept Kauri deck 1 ½ inch thick laid over 2 x 5/8th inch ply sheathing on laminated beams
- Solid bulwark fully glassed over and capped as normal
- Outer edge of deck and bulwark caps in teak
- New Brazilian mahogany deck structures include skylights, coach house, steering box and coamings
- Massive new mast step built over existing step
- New main bulkhead
- All low points in bilge filled with bitumen to prevent any water ponding
- All new bronze hull bolts
- All windows screened with the latest temp minimizing and 99% UV block undetectable film
- Coach house been framed in ply and glassed for structural strength


Deck layout, equipment and ground tackle

- Locker over aft deck to lazarette
- Steering box and helm wheel
- Cockpit with high coamings and demountable table
- Cockpit seating each side with stowage under
- Dedicated locker under seat to stbd for the Yamaha 6 HP dinghy outboard engine
- Gas locker under same seat fwd
- Original mahogany ships wheel
- Mizzen mast
- Cockpit with permanent - but easily removable awning
- Raised deck house with sliding roof and doorway access to interior aft
- Bronze deck castings and fittings, original or authentically re cast
- Bronze halyard and sheet winches, discretely electric powered
- Butterfly wing skylight with new custom inflatable dinghy stowed upturned over
- Custom hand-made brass lobster back dorade vents over main accommodation
- Main Mast
- Butterfly wing skylight has separate hinge up as emergency fore hatch exit
- Custom hand-made brass lobster back Dorade ventilators over forward accommodation
- Muir 4000 custom bronze anchor windlass on fore deck
- 105 lb CQR on 230 ft ½ inch chain
- 65 lb Fisherman on 33 ft ½ inch chain and 165 ft ¾ inch warp
- Set up for 2 winches to mount on bowsprit but only one carried
- Panama eye fairleads

Deck canvas etc
- Full set of fitted deck joinery covers (except cap rails)
- 1 x loose-fit floating cover between main and mizzen masts
- Shade cloth individual covers to coach house windows held by suction cups
- Sunbrella cockpit cushion
- Cover for approx 30% of the cap rail


Accommodation and domestic equipment

The interior is all solid Brazilian mahogany timbers in raised and fielded joinery
- Berths for up to 8 in total all have French fabric covers, period fans, and antique style lamps
- Deck house with two single pilot berths either side
- Companionway steps from the deck house lead down to main accommodation
- Main head and shower compartment with Lavac Baby Blake manual WC
- Washing machine / dryer off the shower to port
- Galley to starboard
- 4 burner hob and oven with range hood
- Microwave, fridge and freezer
- Double bowl sink and mixer tap

Saloon forward
- Chesterfield buttoned leather settee berth to port and L shaped settee berth to starboard
- Table seats 8
- Gimballed oil style lamps
- Ships half model
- “Drinks cabinet” concealing the instrumentation
- Standard clock and barometer, a crystal vase, framed photos from 1924 and 1950
- TV and music system behind doors

Doorway access forward to Owner’s suite
- King sized berth on centreline and en suite head compartment with Lavac Baby Blake manual WC
- Hanging locker and stowage
- Chain locker forward

Aft through saloon guest cabins aft
- 2 x Queen sized berths and locker stowage each side of companionway and engine


Rig spars and sails

- Bermuda Ketch rig
- Collars hollow Douglas fir / Oregon pine masts spars
- Sitka spruce booms
- Headsail furlers
- Highfield levers on running back stays
- White case Dyneema running rigging

All sails Doyle Australia 2010 first used 2011 stated to be in excellent condition
- Only proper voyage to date; 1200 nm Hobart return and anticipated 2000 nm Hamilton voyage
- Main with catch bag and lazy jacks
- Mizzen with catch bag and lazy jacks
- Jib topsail hanked
- Jib on Harken furler
- Staysail on Harken furler
- Mizzen staysail
- Storm jib and storm trysail.
- Scott asymmetric may be acquired for Hamilton Island trip
- High-strength Spinlock jammers for all halyards


Mechanical electrical and tankage

- Perkins M 115T 115 HP Diesel
- Feathering propellor
- Dynamo on main engine
- Remote gearbox
- Wesmar bow thruster
- Hot water tank heated off diesel or 240 V electric when on shore power
- 12 V instrumentation and radios
- 24 V 450 A house power battery bank
- Space for generator but none present
- 240 V shore power - can be changed to 110 volt with step transformer
- Dedicated engine start
- Removable flexible solar panels 24 V 96 W that on cockpit awning
- All lamps LED including tricolour nav light saves power drain
- 4 x Aluminium diesel tanks total 135 gallons / c 614 litres
- 4 x Polypropylene fresh water tanks total 115 gallons / c 523 litres
- Grey water sump
- Polypropylene black water tank total 25 gallons
- Chlorinated sewage treatment with pump out and pump over
- 2 x 9 lb LPG tanks in separate drained locker
- Seawater foot pump to bilge circulated out by the electric pump to prevent fresh water ponding


Navigation communications and electronics

- Raymarine E80 chart plotter and repeater
- Raymarine 48 m Radome
- 125 GPS antenna
- ST7001 Auto pilot with fluxgate compass and rudder feedback unit
- Secondary ST7001 pilot station
- ST290 system: speed, depth, wind, remote keyboard, 15 inch monitor, graphic analogue wind
- Icom ICM602 VHF radio + Glomex antenna
- Icom ICM 802 HF radio + Glomex antenna
- Iridium satphone
- Electronic fluxgate steering compass
- 1920s brass binnacle with compass not always mounted



- Watertight bulkheads bow and stern
- Manual bilge pump cockpit
- Manual bilge pump below
- Auto electric bilge pump
- Diesel driven emergency bilge pump
- 2 x 10BE fire extinguishers
- Auto fire system in engine bay
- Smoke alarm
- GME 406 EPIRB with GPS new 2014
- 8 x Burke inflatable life jackets new 2014
- 8 x Burke non inflatable life jackets new 2014
- Sophisticated emergency tiller arches up over the wheel



Key works undertaken from 2001
- Interior stripped to bare shell
- Frames replaced, repaired and strengthened or renewed in way of mast and chain plates
- New structural bulkheads were fitted.
- Every bolt replaced with new bronze
- Hull planking repaired and totally re-roved
- Entire new retroussé counter constructed
- New deck including beams ply sheathing and teak
- Interior rebuilt to highest standards; all solid Brazilian mahogany in raised and fielded joinery
- All luxury soft furnishings
- Italian oil-style lamps
- Full instrumentation including radar
- New spars by Collars UK maintained and varnished annually
- New sail plan to Gerard Dijkstra design
- All custom bronze castings to authentic detail where originals were missing


These particulars have been prepared from information provided by the vendors and are intended as a general guide. The purchaser should confirm details of concern to them by survey or engineers inspection. The purchaser should also ensure that the purchase contract properly reflects their concerns and specifies details on which they wish to rely.


Sandeman Yacht Company

Brokerage Of Classic & Vintage Yachts