Does anyone know the story of a small yacht called Harnser?

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Harnser as she is now

A chap called Nigel has been in touch to appeal for some background knowledge about a boat he has bought as a project. If you know anything that seems relevant please either add it to the comments below or write to me direct at

Here’s what he says:

‘She is called Harnser and has the place name Maldon on her transom. She came ashore on the rock’s below the world famous Golden Cap cliffs on the Dorset coast. A a rescue took place, but the boat was left to the elements.

Fortunately, the weather improved very quickly and she survived long enough for a rescue attempt to be made, and she was taken into Westbay Harbour, where she was lifted out – at which point the bottom was found to be very badly damaged.

At this point the story took a turn for the worse and the boat had to be disposed of. There was quite a lot of newspaper coverage about it at the time which you can see by putting the boat name in Google!

I enclose a picture of her in her current state. I have the mast and some of the rails, but she was partially stripped for repair work and bits went missing… I’m sure somebody could repair her.

I am keen to trace any history of her past and hope you may have somebody in the know among your readers?

Many thanks, Nigel

The sad story of Harnser’s loss appeared in the Western Morning News.

3 thoughts on “Does anyone know the story of a small yacht called Harnser?”

  1. Something about her suggests you should investigate whether she was built by Arthur Holt who ran a yard at Heybridge; he retired a few year ago.

    Try Fabian Bush.

    I believe Harnser or Harnsa is the Norfolk name for Heron, and that he used the name on another innovative boat of his design.


  2. The innovative boat by Arthur Holt that Bob mentions is “HANSER” – 36 ft cold-moulded with lifting keel – I now own her, (I have seen at least one other boat called “HaRnser”); I think Jon Oates is correct – Fabian Bush

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