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Yachtsnet's archive of boat details and pictures

The following information and photographs are displayed as a service to anyone researching yacht types. HOWEVER THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND TEXT ARE COVERED BY COPYRIGHT, AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF YACHTSNET LTD. Details and photographs are normally based on one specific yacht, but could be a compilation. No reliance should be placed on other yachts of the same class being identical.  Where common variations exist, we have endeavoured to indicate this in these archive details. 

Nicholson 35

Brief details


Camper & Nicholson, Southampton

The Nicholson 35 is a very solid, fast and seaworthy cruiser. About 230 were built over their long production run - minor alterations over the years resulting in Mk I to Mk VI versions. In their early years these boats were capable and competitive ocean racers, though nowadays they are more often thought of as serious but fairly fast cruisers. By modern standards they are quite heavy displacement, but were thought of as fairly moderate displacement when first introduced.


35' 3"

Sail area

757 sq ft on later models, a bit less on pre-1977 boats


26' 9"




10' 5"




5' 6"




17,630 lbs


various, but often Perkins 4107 or 4108


7,390 lbs


30 - 50

Keel type

Fin and skeg

The Nicholson 35 was designed in-house by Camper & Nicholsons in 1970/71, and remained in production from 1971 to 1990, with various minor model changes from Mk I to Mk VII. Whilst the hull mouldings of some boats were contracted out, always to quality moulders, all Nicholsons 35s were finished by Camper & Nicholson themselves, to a very high standard.


About 230 were built over their long production run, and they have a superb reputation as a safe, fast passage-maker. It is is thus very rare now to find one that has not had the wear and tear of multiple extended ocean passages, or hard racing early in her life.

Various sources quote slightly different ballast and displacement figures for these boats: the figures here being taken from a Nicholson-supplied manual for a Mk VI boat, shown in most of the photos here. The later boats had a more conventional shaft drive to a P-bracket instead of the hydraulic drive to a prop mounted in the aft end of keel that was fitted to early boats, as shown in the small plan at left. Later boats also have a slightly different internal layout with a quarter berth aft of the chart table. The last boats built had a taller rig, a feature probably introduced for the American market, where a significant number of Nicholson 35s were sold by a dealer in Annapolis.

Photo above - the earlier built versions had the prop at the aft end of the keel, driven by a hydraulic drive, whilst the later boats had a more conventional sternshaft and P-bracket as in the photo below

Nicholson 35

Yachts seen here are no longer for sale - the data is online as a free information service for buyers researching boat types. THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COVERED BY COPYRIGHT, AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF YACHTSNET LTD.

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Nicholson 35

Above: early boats had an aft-facing chart table with a small hanging space and seat squab aft of it, later boats had a forward facing chart table with a quarterberth aft - at the expense of a much smaller port cockpit locker - see lower photo.

Nicholson 35

Engine installations vary, the yacht in some of the photos here having a 29 hp Ford-based Watermota diesel driving a conventional sternshaft via a Z-drive gearbox, instead of the bigger 50 hp Perkins engine with hydraulic drive that was fitted to most early Nicholson 35s. This change in the later models was a definite improvement, as 29 hp is entirely adequate power, and the older boats engine compartments were very cramped with the bigger engine, and access was more awkward for the hydraulics to drive the keel-mounted prop. The photo below shows a Perkins engine with hydraulic drive.

Nicholson 35

The photos below show a much-travelled Nicholson 35 fitted out for extended cruising, with a fixed GRP doghouse instead of a canvas sprayhood.

The fact that this design is so sought after as a fast, powerful passage-maker does tend to mean that most 35s have had more wear and tear than many other yachts of similar vintage. The Camper & Nicholson build quality does however usually seem to stand up to such usage.

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