The Nicholson 55 is a well-loved classic but with the benefit of well laid up GRP hull. Many saw service here in the UK as sail training vessels but Surprise was built and commissioned as a gentleman’s cruising yacht. In the same ownership for many years she has obviously been a cherished and updated along the way. Currently ashore and under an overall cover but with normal commissioning she is would be ready for service.
Nicholson 55, SURPRISE was custom-made for an Austrian businessman in 1972. We bought her in 1988 and then modernized her: The rig of a Jeanneau made her more powerful in cruising and also in racing, an electric winch and a new piano added to the handling comfort. A bow thruster and an air conditioning system were built in, and the kitchen and master cabin were both improved.
She was based in the Baleares from 1991-1994 and was sailed there as well as on the Côte d’Azur, where we also raced her at Niolargue in 1991. In 1994, she was transferred to the eastern Mediterranean and was mostly sailed in the Cyclades. In 2005, she was brought back through the Isthmus and the Street of Patras and has been based in St. Jean Cap Ferrat ever since, from where she was mostly sailed around Corsica.
Nicholson 55, SURPRISE is a very elegant, classic boat and is constantly complimented on her classic design. She is very seaworthy and reliable, running smoothly both in light and heavy conditions. She enters even big waves very smoothly due to her classic hull design. The power of the genoa can easily be adapted to the wind conditions using the furling. We have sailed her at 55 knots without feeling unsafe for a second. She fits eight people comfortably, but rarely needs more than three people to handle her. Manoeuvring and docking her in tight Mediterranean ports is made easy thanks to the bow thruster, and the air conditioning system cools her down very quickly even on hot summer nights. She is an ideal touring and racing boat for someone who enjoys traditional design and sailing.