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Charles E Nicholson 147 ft schooner 1910/2005 - Sold



Charles E Nicholson 147 ft schooner 1910/2005

Designer Charles E Nicholson
Builder Camper & Nicholsons, Gosport
Date 1910
Length overall 162 ft 1 in / 49.4 m
Length deck 147 ft 0 in / 44.8 m
Length waterline 90 ft 3 in / 27.5 m
Beam 24 ft 7 in / 7.5 m
Draft 13 ft 9 in / 4.2 m
Displacement 210 Tonnes
Construction Composite teak on steel frames
Gross Tonnage 122 Tons
Engine 2 x Caterpillar 6 cyl 3306TA
Location Italy
Price Sold

These details are provisional and may be amended




Built by Camper & Nicholson to one of the finest designs of Charles E. Nicholson; this yacht originally named SYLVANA was launched in 1910. When commissioned, Nicholson had clearly won over the wealthy yachtsmen of the period to his designs that by then were regularly beating those of Watson, Fife and Herreshoff on the race course.

Now ORION OF THE SEAS; she was completely rebuilt 2003-2005 with a total focus on keeping the original detail where possible but where modern systems were installed; then most discreetly and with effective sound insulation. Where money is no object it can lead to “over restoration” but the treatment of ORION leaves her looking very much as she would have done in 1910 – yet she is probably stronger now than she ever was and could reasonably be described as a “classic super yacht”. As a regular winner on the classic race circuit; many who have spent time aboard acknowledge how she has touched their lives – she is simply unforgettable.



2003 - 2005
ORION was housed in a purpose-built facility at La Ciotat, France, where she underwent a two year complete re-build under Lloyd's supervision to bring her back to the original Lloyds 20A1 Classification - the highest afforded to wood and wood composite yachts at her time of build.

Every effort was made and achieved to create a modern yacht without losing any of her heritage and pedigree, and without detriment to her century old history. Key features were:
- Hull planking removed and hull taken back to bare steel frames
- Keelson and stem timbers retained
- Frames re-galvanised and painted
- The best – some 70 % of old and new teak planking refastened
- With absolute attention to detail as much of the original interior joinery as possible retained
- Original interior re-built and repaired / replaced to match where necessary
- Efficient insulation as possible installed to minimise noise
- Engine room and galley completely renewed and refitted throughout

- Re-engined with addition of new generators

To date:
- Constant ongoing attention and maintenance



It was in 1910 that SYLVANA, a schooner destined to make history, was launched at Camper & Nicholson’s yard in Gosport. At that time yachting was in its comparative youth, but the class and elegance of this lovely schooner made her stand out. Built for Lt Colonel Courtney Morgan, SYLVANA as she was named was actively cruised in her early years. She was to change hands several times however – and was next acquired in 1913 by Compte Jean de Paulignac a long standing admirer of Charles Nicholson’s designs. In 1921 he sold her to Maurice Bunay Varilla, who renamed her PAYS DE FRANCE and moved her to Marseilles. A year later she was bought by Cecil Slade to be renamed DIANA. Then in 1927 she was bought by Raul C Monsegur, who gave her the name VIRA. It was in 1930 that having been bought by one Miguel de Pinilios, she became ORION. He kept her in Barcelona, where incidentally she lay alongside ALTAIR, the great Fife schooner. In 1935 ORION suffered the effects of an explosion and fire damaging the bridge, wheelhouse and main boom and in due course while ALTAIR’s fortunes waxed, those of ORION gradually declined - for a period at least.

A further significant event for ORION occurred in 1967, when she lost both masts in a storm in the Golfe du Lyons. It was not until the 1980s however that she was found and restored by her new Italian owners. In one key respect they made a significant change and departing from the original gaff sail plan they fitted her with a staysail on the foremast and a small gaff mainsail. It was thus rigged that ORION first made her mark on the Mediterranean classic yacht scene. Nevertheless as time moved on ORION lost her prominence; her reduced rig and power less a match for her up and coming competitors and visibly less grand than her original design had intended her to be. More recently she has been restored to a full gaff rig, which although not identical to that with which she was launched in 1910, has in large part restored her original splendour and power.

After no less than five names and twelve owners, ORION is once again a cult figure for lovers of vintage yachts. In recent years, not only participating in show regattas, ORION has entered far more competitive events, in which she duelled for example with MARIETTE, and crew members having served on both yachts engendering healthy rivalry in the process

In her current ownership ORION was taken to Le Ciotat, the boatyard near Marseilles specially set up to renovate this schooner. He decided to completely rebuild her based on the original plans. In the words of Charles Nicholson’s descendant "This is my boat, the boat my father built, I recognise her as she is now".

Notwithstanding her tonnage increased with the installation of modern facilities and systems, she is still a very competitive boat. Meanwhile the interiors are spacious and divided up well with private owner and guest cabin with en suite accommodation well separated from the crew’s own spacious accommodation for’ard.



- Composite construction; teak and iroko planking on galvanised steel frames
- Teak decks
- Teak superstructure
- Mahogany interior joinery


Accommodation and domestic equipment

Accommodation for 10 guests in 5 staterooms and 7 crew members
- Doghouse / deck saloon forward
- Companionway stairs down aft of deck saloon and corridor aft
- Main saloon beautifully appointed for dining and socialising in style
- Doorway aft to

Master suite recently re-configured aft of the main saloon
- 2 x Double berths; one each side
- Access aft to the master bathroom and shower

Moving forward through the saloon the foot of the main stairwell to four further guest cabins
- 2 x Double cabin with en suite bathrooms
- 2 x Twin cabin with en-suite bathrooms

Forward to the galley
- Walk-in fridge
- Large primary freezer
- 2 x Secondary freezers
- 2 x Fridges
- Electrolux professional oven
- Electrolux professional induction plate and wok
- Electrolux professional polished chrome plate
- Electrolux ice maker
- Electric slicing machine

Forward again to 3 crew cabins with separate access to the galley and crew quarters from the foredeck

- Miele stainless steel 7kg washing machine
- Miele stainless steel 8kg dryer
- Electrolux rotary presser
- Centralised vacuum system


Rig, spars and sails

- Oregon pine spars
- Main mast height 174ft / 53m
- Sail area 1,200 Sq m to 2,250 Sq m
- Stainless steel standing rigging
- Polyester running rigging

All Dacron sails
- Main
- Foremain
- Working Topsail
- 2 x Fore topsail
- Racing Staysail
- Jib
- Jib top sail
- Ballooner


Deck equipment and ground tackle

- 14 x Meissner classic hydraulic winches
- Hydraulic electric main halyard winch
- 2 x Hydraulic anchor windlasses
- Classic teak and bronze aft gangway
- Classic admiral’s ladder
- Classic Vidoli Shipyard wooden tender for 12 people
- Rubber tender for 12 people with 100 HP Novamarine engine


Mechanical electrical and tankage

- 2 x Caterpillar 6 cylinder 3306 TA 350 HP each with Z drive
- ZF V Drive gearbox
- 2 x Bruntons feathering propellers
- Cruising speed 11 Knots
- Max speed 13 Knots
- Kohler 27 kW generator
- Kohler 21 kW generator
- 3 Phase 220 V Alternator
- 24 V battery bank
- Siemens electric boiler heating system
- 3 x Separate electric/ engine calorifier domestic hot water systems; master, guest, crew
- Tecma WCs
- HEM 400 l/h water maker
- HEM UV installation antibacterial
- BWT mineral water production system
- Hamann Super mini water treatment
- 2,000 litres Fresh water
- 1,000 litres grey and black water


Navigation, communications and electronics

- Simrad B&G Navigation Equipment last generation with remote installation at helm
- Simrad B&G autopilot
- Hydraulic rudder installation
- Classic barograph
- Simrad radar
- Thrane & Thrane Satellite telephone
- Sailor VHF
- Apple computer



- 2 x ACR - Pathfinder and Mini B300
- Life Jackets
- Fire suppression system
- Galley fire and bilge Pumps
- Engine room bilge / fire pumps
- Fire extinguishers
- 3 x Life rafts


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