Certificate no 489
Status National Historic Fleet


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Wherry (trading)
Location Wroxham
Vessel type Norfolk Wherry Yacht
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes
Info required Yes


Builder Collins, Ernest & Sons (Wroxham) Ltd, Wroxham
Built in 1909
Hull material Wood
Rig Unknown
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Electric
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
13.67 feet (4.17 m)
4.30 feet (1.31 m)
Length: Overall
55.97 feet (17.07 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



The wherry yachts OLIVE and NORADA  and WHITE MOTH were designed and built by Ernest Collins of Wroxham. They are the only surviving wherry yachts, 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 was ready for charter in 2013.

Although this vessel is on the National Historic Fleet, we are currently lacking information on this particular vessel. If you have any information on this vessel past or present, please contact us.


Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, pp165, Edition 2, 1993 
Bowers, Peter, Norfolk Wherries, Norfolk Broads Authority, 1994
Classic Boat: Three of a Kind - Meet White Moth, Olive and Norada, April 2014
Classic Boat: Twice the fun at the Barton Regattas, December 2005
Classic Boat: Barge and Wherries share £
1 million HLF bid, June 2005
The Wherry Around the Wherry Sheds, 2000
Johnstone-Bryden, Richard, The Wherry Yachts, WYCCT, 2016
Classic Boat: Centenarians - Welcome to the Pleasure wherry, September 2018



Key dates

  • 1909

    Built by Ernest Collins of Wroxham

  • 1909-1958

    Sailed on charter apart from the years of Second World War

  • 1958-1964

    Used as a houseboat

  • 1964

    Bought by Stanley Page who restored her to sailing order

  • 1971

    Sold to an unknown purchaser

  • 1973

    Again sold to an unknown purchaser

  • 1974

    Sold to Peter Bower

  • 1975

    Restoration included the fitting of a new loose fitted sail

  • 1978

    Fitted with a new mast and made available for charter

  • 1987

    Fitted with a 3 horsepower battery electric engine

  • 2006

    Purchased by charitable trust with grant aid from the Heritage Lottery Fund

  • 2009

    Vessel laid up pending restoration and out of the water survey

  • 2011

    A new permanent home was opened on 19 April at Barton House in Wroxham

  • 2012

    Restoration started with a grant from RDPE

  • 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.

  • May 2011

    A new 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.

  • December 2012

    Restoration undertaken 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 continued over the winter on the slipway. Source: The Wherry 2012.

  • April 2013

    Relaunched in sailing condition.  Source WYCCT.

  • May 2013

    Vessel visited by NHS-UK team.

  • 7 July 2013

    Official relaunch by chairman of RDPE.

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

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