, 2022-09-23 07:30:00,
In 2022 Camper & Nicholsons celebrated 240 years in business. Few companies can boast such longevity. Ever fewer can claim a dozen world firsts, which have allowed the firm to sail ahead of the fleet since 1782. The passion for invention began in 1809. A 16-year-old shipwright named William Camper joined an unremarkable boatyard in Gosport on England’s south coast. His apprenticeship certificate is now deemed so important that it’s housed in Britain’s National Maritime Museum. William Camper’s first recorded launch was Breeze. At the King’s Cup this 16.5m cutter sliced competitors from the Royal Yacht Squadron to shreds. Squadron members fought among themselves to commission Camper for their new build. Earls, Viscounts and Members of Parliament ordered racing boats 15m, 25m and even 35m in length — an astounding size for the day. Camper’s designs sailed the seven seas. His 24m schooner Nancy Dawson explored north past Point Barrow in Alaska, the point of no return for Arctic exploration. On her journey back to England she became the first yacht to circumnavigate the globe.
In 1842 the 14-year-old Ben Nicholson joined the firm. Camper and Nicholson expanded the Gosport yard from racing yachts into “English gentlemans’ floating hotels” — the luxury yachts familiar today. Nicholson’s ultimate design was 44-metre Amphitrite. This magnificent schooner belonged to a Scottish aristocrat, then a Swedish industrialist, followed by a German…
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