It’s not often that boats return to their true home. More often than not, boats are made and then disperse to their life, berth or adventures around the world. However, a Nelson 42 can truly claim to have ‘returned home’ when she arrived back at Plymouth Yacht Haven earlier this month.

MB Zulu is a Nelson 42 MK II built just after the millennium by Bridgend Boat Company, owned by Richard Checkley and Julie Hammonds. The boatbuilding company had started life undertaking basic marine carpentry jobs in Newton Ferrers, before expanding to Plymouth, purchasing the Western Hangar at Plymouth Yacht Haven and, at the height of their game, employing 20 full time staff.

MB Zulu was the 4th and final Nelson 42 built in their Hangar in Mount Batten. The boat went to sea and, a short while later, the company was sold and eventually dissolved with the Western Hangar purchased by Plymouth Yacht Haven in 2013.

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March 2023

Jump forward to March 2023 and, low and behold, who should arrive in the Plymouth Yacht Haven hoist for a refurbishment; yes, you guessed it, MB Zulu.

Now under new ownership, Zulu had been purchased a couple of years prior in the Channel Islands and brought to Dartmouth. Arriving back in Plymouth ready for extensive works under the watchful eye of Nathan Bone Yacht Repairs,  Zulu was shored up back inside the Western Hanger where she was originally built.

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Meeting the original builders

After a quick spot by a keen eye, a couple of texts and a few phonecalls later, a meeting was arranged for the new owner to meet Richard and Julie, Zulu’s original builders.

Zulu’s 3-week long refurbishment included extensive engine works, varnishing, carpentry, propellor maintenance and much more. But the ‘full circle’ nature of this story isn’t over yet.

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See you again, Zulu

Within Nathan Bone Yacht Repairs’ team is Robin; a highly experienced carpenter with decades of experience in the marine leisure trade. And who did Robin originally work for? Yes, you guessed it! Robin was one of Richard’s boatbuilders who helped with Zulu’s originally carpentry 20 years ago.

Zulu has now been relaunched and has returned to her berth on the River Dart. We wish her new owner many years of happiness with this Plymouth-built boat!

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