Wherry Yacht Charter
Caring for the Broads' last wherry fleet

Watch - our wherry yacht sailing experience on video.

Charter a wherry for your special occasion, or for a relaxing family holiday.

© Broads Auth.

We are unique in operating a fleet of wherries. Hathor, Olive, Norada, White Moth and Ardea are five of just eight wherries remaining on the Broads, and we successfully reunited them under sail in 2015 when Hathor was relaunched after painstaking restoration.

Our fleet of wherries

Hathor (1905) is our sole Pleasure Wherry, built by Daniel Hall for the Colman family of Norwich. She features a black hull and stunning Egyptian-themed decorative elements. Wherry Yachts Olive (1909), Norada (1912) and White Moth (1915) are sister vessels, all built by Ernest Collins of Wroxham for the hire trade. They are recognisable by their graceful white hull and spacious counter-stern. Ardea (1927), also a pleasure wherry, is the largest and youngest of the fleet, and the only wherry made of teak.

Current status

Please click through for full details of each boat's history and layout.

  • Norada is available for day and residential charters. She underwent extensive hull and structural work in 2007-2009, followed by interior restoration and updating of gas, electrical and other systems, and finally exterior work including replacement of the lino on her decks and coach roof. She returned to the water in 2012 at Salhouse Broad. Norada operates on charters and scheduled sailings.
  • Olive is available for day and residential charters. She has also seen work on her hull, albeit less extensive than Norada's, as well as her interior and above decks. Her return was officially marked at Ranworth in 2013. Olive operates on charters and scheduled sailings.
  • White Moth is available for day and residential charters. She is privately owned, but will be operated by WYC for charter purposes for the foreseeable future. She has had various changes made since her previous ownership, including reverting to traditional lino on her coach roof, restoring the mast to varnished wood, and crafting a new vane of metal initials to match her sisters. Over the winter of 2012-13 her wooden keel (the last remaining among the wherry yachts) was replaced with a steel one - John Parker wrote a blog entry about the process. Some interior changes were made in 2015 to improve the galley space, and again in 2016-7 to add a larger water tank. White Moth operates on charters and scheduled sailings.
  • Hathor returned in 2015 after extensive restoration, reuniting the original WYC fleet. A celebratory relaunch weekend at How Hill saw five wherries sail together on the Ant for the first time in perhaps a century. She is currently used for scheduled sailings and educational activities only.
  • Ardea is our newest arrival, and like White Moth is privately owned but with charter rights assigned to WYC. Her unusual history involves time in Paris as a houseboat. She arrived at our wherry base in 2015, is in sailing order, and we look forward to developing our corporate offering with her. She will not usually operate holiday charters or public sailings, but may do from time to time. A higher price for these sailings reflects her infrequent appearance and more luxurious accommodation.

A brief history of Wherry Yacht Charter

Our wherries were acquired in the 1970s and 1980s by Peter Bower and Barney Matthews. Olive was the first of the three to be offered for charter in 1978, followed by Norada (then named Lady Edith) in 1984. Wherry Yacht Charter was formed as a non-profit making organisation by Barney and Peter in 1985, following which Pleasure Wherry Hathor was also bought and restored to full sailing order by 1988. The fleet was then complete as we know it today, housed at the boat base at Barton House, Wroxham. Since 2004 the fleet has been cared for by Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust, which has the specific aim of preserving them and keeping them accessible to the public. In 2012, the opportunity arose to have the charter rights for Wherry Yacht White Moth, and in 2015 Ardea arrived under the same arrangement. Both are presently owned by Andrew Scull, a Trustee.

Wherry Yacht Charter is a registered charity (as Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust), number 1096073

WYC is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, RDPE, Geoffrey Watling Trust, Town Close Estate Charity and others.

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