Built in 1915 at Wroxham by Ernest Collins & Sons, WHITE MOTH was the last wherry yacht ever built. Ernest Collins had previously built the wherry yachts OLIVE (1909) and NORADA (1912), both of which are still in sail. WHITE MOTH was built for a private owner, but in 1921 was brought back into the Ernest Collins fleet, remaining there until 1956. A company brochure from 1950 notes that she had a 2-cylinder Brooke engine, which could give a speed of 6 mph in calm weather if required. The brochure boasted of a piano in the saloon, six ft headroom throughout, and the ‘latest pattern silent wc’. There were four single cabins, one double, and two settees in the saloon which could be converted at night into double berths. The hire included the services of two ‘attendants’ (skipper and steward) who were accommodated in cots in the forward cuddy. A 14 ft lugsail rigged sailing dinghy was also provided. In 1956 WHITE MOTH left Ernest Collins’ sailing fleet when she was hired out as a houseboat.
WHITE MOTH was sold into private ownership in 1962 and enjoyed mixed fortunes including being sunk at Neatishead in the late 1960s. She was hauled out at Great Yarmouth in 1985 to be broken up,but was reprieved by Colin Facey and taken to his Horning yard for a four year total restoration in the hands of Maynard Watson.
In 1993 WHITE MOTH was bought by The Norfolk Broads Yachting Company (which was established in 1898), and operated as a charter vessel from Southgates Yacht Station, Horning. She has ten passenger berths, a well appointed saloon with a full size dining table, a galley, and two separate toilet and shower compartments.
In 2012 she was bought by a Trustee of WYCCT and an agreement made with WYCCT for her maintenance and chartering. Several changes have been made since 2012 including a new steel keel, a new vane and linoleum on the coach roof as well as the decks and installing a yacht piano.
Brown, Paul, Historic Sail, Britain's surviving working craft
Bowers, Peter J A, Norfolk Wherries, Norfolk Broads Authority, 1994
Classic Boat: Historic Wherry gathering, August 2012
Classic Boat: Twice the fun at the Barton Regattas, December 2005
Classic Boat: Tell Tales: White Moth, December 1997
Classic Boat: Three of a Kind - Meet White Moth, Olive and Norada, April 2014
The Wherry Around the Wherry Sheds, 2000
Johnstone-Bryden, Richard, The Wherry Yachts, WYCCT, 2016
Built at Wroxham by Ernest Collins & Sons Ltd for a private owner
Bought for the Ernest Collins fleet
Continued in service with the Ernest Collins fleet until 1956
WHITE MOTH left the Ernest Collins’ sailing fleet and hired out as a houseboat
Sold into private ownership
Sunk at Neatishead
Hauled out at Great Yarmouth to be broken up, but reprieved by Colin Facey for restoration
Bought by The Norfolk Broads Yachting Company to operate as charter vessel from Horning
Purchased by a Trustee of WYCCT and used by WYCCT for chartering on an insure and maintain basis.
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