Wherry Yacht Olive: history
After a successful conversion, creating the Wherry Yacht 'White Heather' from the wreck of a clinker-built yawl, Ernest Collins built Olive with exactly the same interior plans. This produced a problem with the low bridges at Ludham and Potter Heigham. Olive can just about scrape through Potter Heigham Bridge at the perfect tide, but we no longer take her through. The old Ludham Bridge was completely impossible to pass for Olive, but the modern (1912) bridge is no longer a barrier.
After several years offering charters, Olive spent WWII moored on Wroxham Broad helping to prevent enemy flying boats from landing. She was still in the Collins hire fleet during this time, albeit as a house boat, and although she returned to sailing after the war she again became a houseboat in 1958 as demand for skippered holidays fell. After Ernest Collins sold her in 1962 she was restored to sailing condition by Stanley Page, and changed hands again before being bought by Peter Bower in 1974. Following further restoration she took charters again in 1978, and became part of Wherry Yacht Charter in 1985.
Along with her sister vessels Olive was transferred to Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust in 2004. After a period of fundraising followed by several years' work on Norada, the Trust was in a position to restore Olive and she was officially relaunched in 2013. Olive is part of the National Historic Fleet, and her restoration received significant funding from the Rural Development Partnership for England.
Olive makes efficient use of space, with a single and a bunk cabin as well as two doubles and the saloon which, as with all our wherry yachts, converts to two double berths. Internal accommodation is completed with a toilet and a square galley. From the generous 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.