Nelson Motor Yachts are currently building the ‘Nelson 18’ tailored to your specification –
including fit out options, propulsion types: electric & diesel

Nelson 18 bespoke cabin
Nelson 18 Motor Yacht
Nelson 18 cabin detail

When Commander Peter Thornycroft, who lived in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, took over ‘Keith Nelson & Company’ he started to produce the Keith Nelson 18s which were wooden clinker built harbour launches. These were being produced alongside the early wooden Keith Nelson Motor Yachts such as the 23, 26 and 30.

The 18 foot long launches were soon in great demand and when John Askham joined Keith Nelson & Company (and later, ‘TT Boat Designs’) as Commander Thornycroft’s Naval Architect in 1961, one of his first jobs was to re-design the ‘Keith Nelson 18’ so that it could be reproduced in, the then very new, GRP (polyester) material – see John’s ‘Keith Nelson 18’ drawing 12b below. Both companies ran alongside one another, under the Commander’s control.

The origins of the company name ‘Keith Nelson & Company’ were from Keith Butt and Arthur Nelson Compton, both Bembridge boat builders, who formed the limited company with an amalgamation of their two names. Thereafter the boats built at the yard were called Keith Nelsons (KN for short) and later this name became the legendary ‘NELSON’ brand.

Back to the Nelson 18 then. Halmatic produced the first GRP hulls and later a GRP superstructure. The demand was such that Tyler Mouldings were asked to produce the same hull, although with a slightly different, more rounded, superstructure. The two moulders of Nelson vessels were Halmatic and Tyler, both of which became synonymous with the ‘Nelson’ brand.

Hundreds of Nelson 18s have been produced over the last 60 years and have been fitted out/completed by a number of different yards.

In addition to producing the updated version of the classic Nelson 18, we have now developed this vessel further for heavy duty commercial use in our ‘Nelson 20 Zero Emission’ workboat.

Ideal uses:

Marina Operators

Yacht Club safety vessel

Harbour, estuary or river launch

Harbour Master, Conservancy or Workboat

Inland Waterways support or Charter vessel


  • Excellent seaworthy design
  • The ‘long’ keel enhances directional stability, and protects the propeller
  • All round Protective ‘D’ fendering
  • Long Endurance – Up to 16 hours on one charge
  • Easy to charge from any standard 16A Marina mains socket
  • Marine specification Lithium Batteries for safety & long life
  • Low maintenance Electric drives
  • Part of the proven Nelson range of Pilot & Workboats from TT Boat Designs
  • Individually built by Craftsmen

Safety Rating

  • RCD category C – up to 8 people