NELL was commissioned by Robert Cowan Robertson from George Watson (other yachts designed by him include THISTLE, VALKTIE 2 and 3, SHAMROCK for Sir Thomas Lipton, METEOR for the German Emperor, and BRITANNIA for Edward, Prince of Wales). NELL was built by Thomas Orr at Greenock along the lines of a Loch Fyne skiff, and launched in Greenock on 23 June 1887.
Bought by Charlie Stevens from Edward Bonel when she was lying in Catherine’s Dock in London. Bought as a half share and then bought by Andrew Millar as the other share later before owing her completely.
Sailed with Eddie Bonel and four others from there to Dartmouth the year was 1972 and got into difficulties off the Goodwin Sands in a gale and were rescued by the Walmer lifeboat . She was lived aboard Nell in Dartmouth and then sailed to Falmouth and moored in Mylor where repair work as carried out.
She was then sailed to Ireland (engineless) making landfall in Kinsale in 1974/5 with my wife to be and Dion Erasmus who later bought the boat approx in 1977.
The interior is highly decorated and sliding stained glass windows mask the portholes. Prior to 1982, she was often seen in the Falmouth area as she was owned by Dion Erasmus and was moored off Flushing. In 1982, NELL was the subject of a television documentary film by Lawrie Emberson and for a time formed part of the display of vessels at St Katherine's Dock, London. She was owned for a time by Neil Gamble of Teignmouth and was often to be seen in the River Teign in the 1960s. At that time she had a large wooden deckhouse.
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.
Old Gaffer's Association Member's Handbook and Boat Archive, 1993
Yachting Monthly: The Story of the Nell, pp714-6, May 1972
Built by Thomas Orr Jnr of Greenock for Robert Cowan Robertson
Fitted with a two-cylinder paraffin motor
Purchased by Neil Gamble of Teignmouth
Registered at Lloyds as a yacht
Purchased by Edward Bonel who sailed her from Teignmouth to London. She was hit by a squall, losing her topmast Her pumps failed and she was forced into Poole for repairs,
Renovation to her original condition
Owned by Hugh Lloyd-Jones and based in Dartmouth where she took part in the Old Gaffers Race and later was based at Mylor Bridge
Sold to an unknown purchaser
Took part in a television documentary film as one of a display of vessels at St Katherine’s Dock, London
Purchased by David Stabb
Won the Seafile Trophy for the oldest vessel at the Falmouth Classics Rally
Purchased by new owner
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