The Nicholson 476 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Nicholson 476, a centre-cockpit cutter, was designed and built in the UK by Camper & Nicholson Ltd.

'Elfin Lady', a Nicholson 476 sailboat moored on the Helford River, in West Cornwall, UKA Nicholson 476

Published Specification for the Nicholson 476

Underwater Configuration: Fin keel & skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 46'8" (14.2m)

Waterline Length: 36'3" (11.1m)

Beam: 13'8" (4.2m)

Draft: 5'10" (1.8m)

Rig Type: Cutter

Displacement: 33,000lb (10,886kg)

Designer: Camper & Nicholson Ltd

Builder: Camper & Nicholson Ltd (UK)

Year First Built: 1984

Year Last Built: 1989

Number Built: 11


Published Design Ratios for the Nicholson 476

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 15.5

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 40.

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 309

4. Comfort Ratio: 40.0

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Nicholson 476

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 15.5 suggests that the Nicholson 476 will need a stiff breeze to get her going. In light conditions, unless you've got plenty of time on your hands, motor-sailing may be the way to go.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 40.0 means that the Nicholson 476 will initially stand up reasonably well to her canvas in a moderate breeze, but she'll need a reef in the main to avoid heeling excessively in a gust.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 309, tells us the Nicholson 476 is clearly a heavy displacement cruising boat. You can load her down with all your cruising gear and equipment and it will hardly affect her waterline. Not an ideal choice for coastal sailing, but she'll come into her own on an offshore passage in testing conditions.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 40.0 suggests that crew comfort of a Nicholson 476 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a heavy bluewater cruising boat. Pitching and rolling will be well damped - your cup of coffee on the salon table stands a reasonable chance of staying there in most conditions.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Nicholson 476 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 


Any Questions?

What other versions of the Nicholson 476 were built?

There were centre and aft cockpit, traditional and reverse counter versions of the Nicholson 476. The molds were eventually sold to Colvic Craft where it became the Bluewater 476.

What is the accommodation like in the Nicholson 476?

he Nicholson 476 has a spacious and comfortable interior with a centre cockpit layout. The aft cabin has a large double berth, a vanity unit, a hanging locker and an en-suite head with shower. The forward cabin has a V-berth, a hanging locker and a head with shower. The main saloon has a U-shaped settee and a large table to starboard, and a straight settee and a navigation station to port. The galley is located aft of the saloon on the starboard side and has a three-burner stove, an oven, a refrigerator, a freezer, a double sink and ample storage. The engine room is accessible from the galley and has good ventilation and sound insulation.

What, if any, alternative accommodation layout versions are available for the Nicholson 476?

The Nicholson 476 was built on a semi-custom basis so details may vary depending on the owner's preferences. However, some possible alternative layouts include having two aft cabins instead of one, having a pilot berth or a quarter berth in the saloon, having a walk-through galley or a U-shaped galley, or having a different arrangement of the heads.

What is the Nicholson 476 like to sail?

The Nicholson 476 is a solid and seaworthy sailboat that can handle rough seas and strong winds. It has good stability and balance, and can sail close to the wind. It is not very fast or agile, but it is comfortable and reliable. It has good visibility from the cockpit and easy access to the controls. It has a large fuel tank of 265 l (70 gal) and a Perkins 4-236 diesel engine of 85 HP that can provide adequate power when needed.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Nicholson 476?

The average cost of a secondhand Nicholson 476 may vary depending on the condition, equipment, location and year of the boat. However, based on some online listings, it may range from £80,000 to £120,000 (approximately $105,000 to $158,000).

Is this boatbuilder still in business?

Camper & Nicholson Ltd, the builder of the Nicholson 476, is still in business but it no longer produces sailboats. It is now focused on yacht brokerage, charter, management and refit services.

What other sailboats have been created by this designer?

David Pedrick, the designer of the Nicholson 476, has created many other sailboats for various clients and purposes. Some of his notable designs include America's Cup yachts such as 'Stars & Stripes' ('87) and 'Young America' ('96), cruising yachts such as Hinckley Sou'wester 42 and Morris Ocean Series 48 GT, racing yachts such as Baltic DP42 and Santa Cruz 70, and classic yachts such as 'Endeavour II' J Class Replica and 'Shamrock V' J Class Restoration.

How does the Nicholson 476 compare to other similar sailboats?

The Nicholson 476 can be compared to other similar sailboats in terms of size, performance, comfort and quality. Some possible competitors are:

  • Oyster 46: A slightly smaller and lighter sailboat with a similar layout and rig, but with a higher sail area/displacement ratio and a lower displacement/length ratio, indicating better performance. It also has a higher comfort ratio and a lower capsize screening formula, indicating more comfort and safety. However, it may be more expensive than the Nicholson 476;
  • Moody 47: A similar sized and weighted sailboat with a similar layout and rig, but with a lower sail area/displacement ratio and a higher displacement/length ratio, indicating lower performance. It also has a lower comfort ratio and a higher capsize screening formula, indicating less comfort and safety. However, it may be cheaper than the Nicholson 476;
  • Hallberg-Rassy 46: A slightly larger and heavier sailboat with a similar layout and rig, but with a higher sail area/displacement ratio and a lower displacement/length ratio, indicating better performance. It also has a higher comfort ratio and a lower capsize screening formula, indicating more comfort and safety. However, it may be much more expensive than the Nicholson 476.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.


Other sailboats in the Nicholson range include:

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