Nerissa – a 55ft Taylor Bates motor yacht

A rare 55ft Taylor Bates motor yacht

As the former owner of a Taylor Bates gentleman’s launch when I first heard about Nerissa I was very excited.

Taylor Bates built fantastic boats and Nerissa, formerly Margo III, is no exception. Canoe sterns were very much the fashion of the era and Nerissa sports a lovely example.

When I sold Wairakei II which was featured in 2011 in Classic Boat magazine, I was wondering when the next lovely motoryacht would come my way.

Here she is complete with her history from day 1 when she was built for a Mr Heap whose wife is seen sitting on the stern admiring their new boat just near Chertsey Bridge at the old Taylor Bates yard.

In the saloon the writing desk and cupboard unit is the original 1930s special and throughout the boat there are original fittings. However, as shown in the fifth photo, there is a brand new bathroom suite between the two aft cabins, one a double, the other two singles. I like the way the boat divides into the public, entertaining area forward of the wheelhouse, and the aft area which is devoted to sleeping and ablutions and can be kept completely private.

Gerald who is doing the refit, has opened up the forward area to create a large galley with plenty of work surfaces and its own heads right in the bow. Aft of the galley is the saloon with two berths, the writing desk, cupboards and plenty of room for a table. In fact this area has been little touched other than to fit a new wooden floor to match the one in the wheelhouse.

The boat is built of pitch pine on oak with teak for the upper areas so she is set to last another century if well cared for.

Below the wheelhouse sole there is a ladder leading to the two Ford engines and all the other necessary long distance cruising kit.

Please call the office for more photos, history etc.  Nerissa is now afloat in Brighton Marina and ready for sea trials. New survey available.

Nerissa featured in Classic Boat in an excellent article by Nick Burnham published in the February issue 2016.

Nerissa is on the national register of historic vessels and appears in the Lloyds register on several occasions originally as Margo III.

Nerissa in Classic Boat Feb 2016

The photos of Nerissa at sea were taken by Nick Burnham. You will find him at Thanks to Nick for letting us use his photos from the magazine feature.

Please ask to see our file of historic photos taken on the occasion of the original launch in 1933.