Nocturne offers all the romance of the sea

Nocturne offers all the romance of the sea

60 FT Auxiliary Gaff Ketch 1937

NOCTURNE has enjoyed a remarkable succession of suitors over the years, from a war hero, through a Hollywood film star-come highest nobility, to the man who may be said to be the father of London’s airports as we know them, and as the seamanship training platform for hundreds of Merchant Navy cadets.

Ordered by Edward Trenchard "Tizzy" Greene-Kelly, the son of a prominent and knighted London lawyer, she was designed and built under Lloyds supervision by Philip & Sons, Dartmouth, and launched during the summer of 1937. For some reason Greene-Kelly didn’t keep her for long and the next owner’s pleasure was to be rudely disturbed by the second world war, which in 1943 would claim her first owner’s life off Elba when in command of a Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boat.

After wartime layup, NOCTURNE enjoyed two years under the ownership of the 7th Earl of Warwick. His pre-war activities had included becoming the Hollywood heart-throb Michael Brooke, starring alongside Errol Flynn and David Niven, and chalking up a string of high-profile affairs, in particular with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. There is no reason to think that NOCTURNE's visitor’s book wouldn’t have been intriguing.

From the late 1940s there followed ten years of stable ownership by (later Sir) Eric Millbourn, a Yorkshireman who seems to have carved out a career in quietly and efficiently getting things done for governments, notably leading the creation of London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports. 

It is believed that her first 20 years were spent based out of Littlehampton, West Sussex. In 1957 she moved to south Wales and went commercial, with her Lloyd's classification upgrading to the maximum +100A1. Under the careful ownership of Cardiff-based shipping line Sir William Reardon Smith & Sons, she became their sail training and seamanship vessel MARGHERITA, re-named after an illustrious predecessor, the 1913 Charles E Nicholson/ Camper & Nicholson 380 ton racing schooner.

By the late 1960s she was replaced by a retired minesweeper, and headed south to the Mediterranean - as the yacht NOCTURNE again - where long and caring ownerships and la dolce vita have preserved this remarkable yacht with a remarkable story.

Offered for sale by Sandeman Yacht Company - Click here for full details

Philip and Son 60 FT Auxiliary Gaff Ketch 1937

Philip & Son of Dartmouth built a wide variety of wonderful vessels in their 200 year history, and NOCTURNE is a great example of their craft. Massively built in pitch pine on oak frames with a new Burma teak composite deck replicating the appearance of the original, this yacht just oozes authenticity above and below, and more charm than many more obvious yachts from this period. She is a handsome and sturdy cruising yacht; extremely appealing with no trace of cuteness! 

Recent substantial refits leave her stronger than ever and sympathetically more modern - without disturbing her romantic aura.
Designer    Philip & Son
Builder    Philip & Son, Dartmouth
Date    1937
Length overall    72 ft 4 in / 22.05 m
Length deck    60 ft 6 in / 18.44 m
Length waterline    48 ft 8 in / 14.83 m
Beam    14 ft 7 in / 4.44 m
Draft    8 ft 6 in / 2.59 m
Displacement    50 Tonnes
Construction    Carvel, long leaf pitch pine on oak