See also Verl 900 Specifications page.
The Verl 900 was designed as a cruiser/racer in 1974 by Robert Clark who also designed numerous other fine yachts including Gipsy Moth III for Sir Francis Chichester and British Steel for Chay Blyth.
They were originally built by Verlvale Ltd (aka Verl Yachts and Verl Mouldings) of Melbourn near Royston Hertfordshire and then for a couple of years by a boat yard in Tollesbury Essex. The moulds then passed to The Humber Boat Company , then to Blaxton Boats Ltd of Doncaster and were last heard of in July 2014 in the ownership of Mark Reade of Sussex.
Verlvale Ltd (run by Nick Attridge) was incorporated in 1973 and dissolved in 1985.
Verlvale also built other yacht models e.g. the Verl 27 (formerly built by Phillips on the river Dart and called Phillipa 27 and also designed by Robert Clark), later the Verl 790 (designed by Ed Dubois) and Hustler 32 racers and 33 cruisers (designed by Stephen Jones) which were also called Verl 32 and 33s. They also built some SJ30s and 36s.
Here are some comments from Nick Attridge, provided in November 2015:
“For my sins I’m the man that formed Verlvale and ran it as Managing Director until the Bank withdrew their overdraft facilities in 1982. I am proud to say that when we ceased trading no customer lost any money. In subsequent discussions with the Bank they explained that no matter if a company was solvent or not, they wanted ‘out’ of the leisure industry. With hindsight, their judgement proved right with the subsequent collapse of the likes of Westerly, Sigma Saddler, Moody and Hunter amongst many others.
I worked closely with Robert Clark whom we commissioned to design the 900, with him doing the hull and me contributing the superstructure and interior. Whilst I do not have individual records of the 250 plus 900 that we built, I would be happy to try and answer questions that current owners may have.
I must say that my career in the industry was one of the most pleasurable times of my life with many customers becoming friends, including those that purchased the Stephen Jones designed SJ30 and Verls 33 and 36.
I must complement you on your Site, one of the best.”
In 2004 it was reported on a forum that very possibly the last one was being built by Blaxton Boats (for Mark Reade) with improvements such as a sugar scoop transom.
In 1980 a Verl 900 cost from £15,000 to £18,000, roughly equivalent to about £80,000 in 2012.
As at 2015 it is known that many Verl 900s are still in use, particularly on the East and South coasts. Many were exported and found homes as far away as Vancouver in Canada. At least one company in Brittany used them as charter yachts in the late 70s and early 80s.
The Verl 900 has an encapsulated fin keel with skeg hung rudder and in the original brochure the construction was claimed to be “in excess of Lloyd’s specifications”.
Owners often say that they are well-planned, sturdy and seaworthy, with good performance both on and off the wind. See also the “General Comments” page for more owners’ comments.
Nick Vass, the well-known Marine Surveyor has commented on another website:
“They have nicely fitted out interiors with lots of teak below and a good sized galley.
Deck gear is well thought out and they are good cruising yachts. Freeboard is high so accommodation is generous”.
In 1976 a sailing magazine said “For club racing the Verl 900 will be fast” and “For performance cruising a fine boat, being both fast and comfortable below….a sound boat that will look after her crew”.
Cabin headroom is over 6 feet and the classic six-berth layout is like this.
However, we know of at least two built in the 1990s with a large galley on the starboard side of the main cabin opposite the double berth, and the heads where the galley is shown above.
There is a generous amount of storage below every berth, behind the seat backs and on shelves.
A hanging locker and wet rail are located opposite the heads.
Two food storage lockers and an under-sink cupboard are provided in the galley, together with a series of shelves behind the cooker and under the companionway.
The chart desk faces forward and there is a shelf to starboard.
The dining table can be raised out of the way or lowered to form a double berth.
The cockpit also has good locker space and is roomy enough for four people.
The steering is by lifting tiller, although wheel steering was also offered as an original option.
The Verl 900 could also be adapted to a cutter-rigged ‘Islander’ of 32 LOA: