Norfolk Wherry Yacht built 1909 by Collins, Ernest & Sons (Wroxham) Ltd, Wroxham

Ensign House flag


National Historic Fleet

Leisure Craft


Norfolk Wherry Yacht


Ongoing conservation






Web site









To be confirmed

13.67 feet (4.17 metres)

55.97 feet (17.07 metres)

4.30 feet (1.31 metres)



The wherry yachts OLIVE and NORADA were designed and built by Ernest Collins of Wroxham. He also built the only other surviving wherry yacht, WHITE MOTH, which is a tribute to the standard of his work. OLIVE was named after Ernest's youngest daughter.

She appeared in the second issue of Blake’s catalogue in 1909: available for hire with a skipper and steward for £11 a week in June and £14 in August.  For years (apart from the Second World War) thousands of people enjoyed holidays on board OLIVE and she sailed her last season in 1958.  After a few years as a houseboat, she was sold in 1964 to Mr Stanley Page of Beccles, who restored her to sailing order.  She was sold again in 1971 and finally, after changing hands in 1973, was bought by the present owner, Peter Bower, in 1974.  A thorough restoration in 1975 included fitting a new loose footed sail (dispensing with the boom), and in 1978, with a new mast, she became available for charter again.  Over half of the oak frames have been replaced and another new sail was made in 1985.  In 1987 she was fitted with a 3hp battery electric engine.

In 2006 she was purchased by the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust with grant aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Restoration was started in January 2012 with a grant from the RDPE and she will be ready for charter in 2013.

Subsequent Developments

  1. December 2009 Vessel laid up for 1-2 years awaiting restoration and out of the water survey. Source: Sheena McKean, Administrator, Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust
  2. May 2011 Anew permanent home was opened on the 19th April at Barton House in Wroxham. The building, part of a £1.5 million project, provides a base for undercover, year-round restoration and maintenance, and includes a workshop, office, storage and archive room. Source: Classic Boat magazine
  3. December 2012 Restoration is now underway and initial investigations brought the news that her planks and frames were not in nearly as bad a state as NORADA's. Successful in acquiring an RDPE grant for approx. £60,000 to cover the work, which will continue over the winter on the slipway. Source: The Wherry 2012
  4. May 2013 Vessel visited by NHS-UK team. Source: National Historic Ships UK

Key dates

  1. 1909 Built by Ernest Collins of Wroxham
  2. 1909-1958 Sailed on charter apart from the years of Second World War
  3. 1958-1964 Used as a houseboat
  4. 1964 Bought by Stanley Page who restored her to sailing order
  5. 1971 Sold to an unknown purchaser
  6. 1973 Again sold to an unknown purchaser
  7. 1974 Sold to Peter Bower
  8. 1975 Restoration included the fitting of a new loose fitted sail
  9. 1978 Fitted with a new mast and made available for charter
  10. 1987 Fitted with a 3 horsepower battery electric engine
  11. 2006 Purchased by charitable trust with grant aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund
  12. 2009 Vessel laid up pending restoration and out of the water survey
  13. 2011 A new permanent home was opened on 19 April at Barton House in Wroxham
  14. 2012 Restoration started with a grant from RDPE


  1. 1993 International Register of Historic Ships - Brouwer, Norman J
  2. 1994 Norfolk Wherries - Bowers, Peter J A
  3. 2000 The Wherry Around the Wherry Sheds
  4. 2005 Classic Boat Barge and Wherries share £1 million HLF bid
  5. 2005 Classic Boat Twice the fun at the Barton Regattas
  6. 2014 Classic Boat Three of a Kind - Meet White Moth, Olive and Norada
If you are the owner of the vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

landing strake:

the strake between the binding strake and the top strake