Rodney Nicholson, 83, a co-founder of Nicholson Yachts, died November 7, 2010, in Blue Hill, Maine. In 1948, Nicholson sailed transatlantic from Cork, Ireland, with his parents, brother, and the family cat aboard their 72-foot schooner, Mollyhawk. Their destination: English Harbour, Antigua, then the rundown former naval site of Admiral Nelson's Dockyard. In 1949, the family set about restoring it to grandeur. A chance request from a visiting tourist—who asked the Nicholsons to take him sailing through the islands on Mollyhawk, with one of the family as captain and guide—eventually blossomed into V.E.B. Nicholson & Sons Antigua Limited—the first yacht-charter business in the Caribbean, based in English Harbour. The Nicholson-family enterprise, sometimes called "the original charter company" and now doing business as Nicholson Yacht Charters, opened the doors for Antigua and the rest of the Caribbean to become the bustling charter hub that it is today.
"He was a man of many talents," said longtime colleague Sylvia Weston. "His legacy lives on in the yachting industry. We will miss him tremendously."
Lynda Morris Childress