Wherry Yacht Norada: history
Norada is named after a famous racing yacht of the era, and was the second wherry yacht built by Ernest Collins. He designed her to be small enough to pass under the low bridges at both Ludham and Potter Heigham following problems there with her sister wherry Olive. Ironically, after having gone to so much trouble, he saw Ludham bridge destroyed and washed away in the floods of August 1912 and rebuilt with more headroom.
The first of the Collins wherry yachts to be retired from the fleet (in 1950), Norada nonetheless avoided the common fate of becoming a houseboat. A few years after her retirement she was bought by a Mr Andrew, who renamed her Lady Edith in honour of his wife. They had spent their honeymoon on Norada when she was part of the Collins fleet. In 1964 she was bought by Barney Matthews, who sailed and then began to restore her before founding Wherry Yacht Charter with Peter Bower. After starting to take charters again in 1984, Norada reverted to her original name as part of her 75th anniversary celebrations in 1987.
Along with her sister vessels Norada was transferred to Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust in 2004. After a period of fundraising, Norada was hauled out in 2006 and saw extensive hull work and interior restoration before being relaunched in 2011. Her restoration received significant funding from the Geoffrey Watling Trust and, specifically to replace her diesel auxiliary motor with an electric one, the Broads Authority Sustainable Development Fund.
Norada offers a simple layout of a quad cabin, a double cabin, and the saloon which, as with all our wherry yachts, converts to two double berths. Internal accommodation is completed with a toilet and a through galley. From the cosy saloon, double doors lead on to the well - although this is the skipper's area when sailing, once moored it is an airy extension to the living quarters and a route to the spacious counter-stern. A canvas well cover is provided for night-time and inclement weather.
The historic information on this page is based in part on Richard Johnstone-Bryden's ebook Norfolk Wherries. To find out more about Richard's work please see his website.