Nicholson’s first design of note was the Redwing class. The Bembridge sailing club met in October 1896 to agree the need for a shallow draughted yacht – to allow for the shoal waters of Bembridge Harbour – which could be sailed single-handed, to replace the expensive half raters. Nicholson designed the yacht in ten days, and by 1898 the fleet consisted of 16 boats, all built by the Camper & Nicholsons shipyard.
In 1937 the class was redesigned by Nicholson. The minor changes were used to create the 1938 Redwing that can be seen racing both outside Bembridge Harbour and in Poole Harbour on the south of England.