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Brave Challenger

Printed From: BMPT Forum
Category: Boats (In alphabetical order)
Forum Name: Brave Class
Forum Description: Discussion about Brave Class boats
URL: http://www.bmpt.co.uk/forum_posts.asp?TID=54
Printed Date: 10 December 2018 at 4:21pm


Topic: Brave Challenger
Posted By: Pioneer
Subject: Brave Challenger
Date Posted: 16 April 2005 at 7:53pm
Having read the excellent pages on the 'Brave' class, I now have heard of an 'HMS Brave Challenger', can anyone throw a light on this vessel?

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Pioneer - Forum Moderator



Replies:
Posted By: cducane
Date Posted: 17 April 2005 at 8:49am
Brave Challenger was built at Vosper as a high speed yacht for Stavros Niarchos in about 1960. Her original name was Mercury. She was sold some years later to an Italian named Roberto Memmo who eventually sold her to Wensley Hayden Bailey. It was Hayden Bailey who changed her name to Brave Challenger. She is still to be seen in Portsmouth harbour some times at Gunwharf and sometimes at Gosport. Her design was based on the "Brave Class" and like them powered by 3 Proteus. She has achieved speeds of 60 knots and perhaps plus.

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crusade


Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 17 April 2005 at 10:12am

Many thanks Crusade for that information. I was a little confused as I could not find any reference in my own library to an 'HMS' Brave Challenger, obviously it was never a Royal Naval craft.

We live and learn, as they say,



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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 19 June 2005 at 9:54am

Two interesting shots of Fast Yacht "Mercury", as built by Messrs Vosper Ltd in the early 60's for Stavros Nairchos, the Greek shipping magnate. With a third shot taken long after, having been by then, sold on to Italian- Roberto Memmo- and then on to Wensley Hayden Bailey. Now sporting an enclosed Bridge structure and renamed "Brave Challenger" this is broadly how she appears today but an all over paint scheme that she now wears does tend to alter her appearance even more drastically. The beautiful lines of a military "Brave" type of Hull can still just be glimpsed. Leaving out personal opinions, it is surprising how much a paint scheme can alter such a beautiful craft.

 

Working up to speed and showing a 'Tingle' above the Port Chine (A similar repair is shown on the Starboard side in another shot) Showing that a slight mishap can easily be repaired to this "Ferocity" style of build Hull.

 

The Cockpit of Fast Yacht "Mercury" showing the 'Concord' style of Joystick (Helm) also the control levers for the three "Proteus" Gas Turbine engines.

"Brave Challenger" off The Needles. Now sporting the enclosed Bridge, this attractive paint paint scheme has been altered to an 'all over', slightly Lighter Blue, including the lower Chine and Deck Topsides. These three pictures courtesy of Charles Du Cane. 



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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: ewapytlarz
Date Posted: 18 October 2005 at 10:26am

I'm looking for any informations and photos of Brave Challenger. My boyfriend is doing a model of taht yacht and we need plans, photos or any other historical informations.

 

      



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Ewa


Posted By: Cresta
Date Posted: 08 February 2006 at 11:47am
Originally posted by ewapytlarz ewapytlarz wrote:

I'm looking for any informations and photos of Brave Challenger. My boyfriend is doing a model of taht yacht and we need plans, photos or any other historical informations.

 

Get one of the 'victory' models, they pop up on ebay from time to time. use that as a template, it comes with internal diagrams etc.    (look at mad malc's web site)

 

Any news on whats happening to Brave challenger now ? Much speculation on-line



Posted By: portsmouth-lad
Date Posted: 08 February 2006 at 5:19pm

I can confirm that Brave Challenger was sitting at her usual berth at Gunwharf, Portsmouth yesterday evening.  She does not in any way look as though she is almost 45 years old - rather she still looks amazingly contemporary.

 

 



Posted By: exboater
Date Posted: 20 July 2007 at 2:39pm

Hi, thought I would add a few bit to this as I am the son of an ex-business associate of the current owner.  The yacht as you know is owned by Prof. Wensley Haydon-Baillie who bought it in the 90s.  When he originally purchased the yacht he had to have auxillary engines fitted as the RYC Portsmouth complained that it was too fast in the harbour, (it would not cruise below around 8-10 knots.) 

He actually bought it from Peter De Savory who owned Littlecote House in Hungerford for a while and turned it into a theme park.  It would seem that the engines are in need of an overhaul and Prof Haydon-Baillie has purchased the Princess Anne and Princess Margaret hovercrafts at a cost of 500k, which apparently have similar engines and could be used for spare parts. 

Incidently he also used to own a Lightning aircraft which he kept on his front lawn, (I believe his brother was tragically killed in an aircrash while flying one for the RAF.)

The blue the yacht is now painted is his own corporate livery which he uses for his letter head as well his helicopter..!

There hope this is of use..!

 



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Andy


Posted By: tramontana
Date Posted: 20 July 2007 at 4:34pm
I read in the maritime press some time ago that the owner had bought the two hovercraft for their engines and understood she was coming out for a overhaul this year and mentioned it on this forum, since then I understood she had been put up for sale, is that correct? she is a very nice boat and another Vosper classic. The brother who was killed in the air crash (Ormond) if I remember correctly owned a number of lightnings but was out of the R.A.F. when he crashed in a piston engined types like a mustang/sea fury but I stand to be corrected on that.


Posted By: Danny
Date Posted: 20 July 2007 at 4:40pm

Hello

Here  are  a  few  photos  that  I  took  of  Brave  Challenger  a  couple  of  years  ago  at  Portsmouth.

Regard

 

 

 



Posted By: tramontana
Date Posted: 20 July 2007 at 4:53pm
I think she looked "racier" with the white topside, but still a nice boat to own


Posted By: cducane
Date Posted: 20 July 2007 at 6:06pm
Wensley Haydon Baillie, who is not a professor, bought "Mercury as she was then from Roberto Memmo, an Italian businessman, in 1978. Brave Challenger as she became was always fitted with auxiliary engines for manoeuvring. As a matter of fact there was a high court case in the late nineties which cocerned a mortgage raised against the boat but it was certainly not Peter de Savary who was involved in this. There has been a deal, I understand with Sea Containers to secure the Proteus turbines from the Dover based hovercraft.

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crusade


Posted By: tramontana
Date Posted: 21 July 2007 at 1:32pm
I can well understand Pioneer's confusion over this boat, some time ago I asked for info on this vessel via the small craft group because as a retired marine engineer I was interested in how they fitted the C.O.D.O.G. propulsion (in what is a not very broad hull at  the stern) bearing in mind there was also a requirement for decent sized cabin's rather than multi-occupancy messdecks as the Andrew would have. Very kindly a chap called Mr Jago sent me a copy of an article which appered in "Boat International"  Sept 93 regarding "Brave Challenger", when I read the article the inference is clearly there indicating she was a former "Brave Class" boat which had been stripped out and refitted as a motor yacht, this puzzled me as she clearly looked like a boat I had seen before called "Mercury". Unless Mr Livaneos? a great rival in the shipping world of Mr O had one also built this was surely the same boat, after consulting Phil Simons it was indeed "Mercury", certainly the article I have is very misleading and where the Reporter got their info from I will leave people to draw their own conclusions.


Posted By: John A
Date Posted: 23 July 2007 at 10:26am

 

        Brave Challenger/ Mercury, is on the outer berth at Saxon Wharf Marina River Itchen. as of sat 22/7.

                    John.A.



Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 22 April 2009 at 9:22am

A very recent image taken of 'Brave Challenger' (April '09)

I do believe that her earlier paint scheme suited her far better - but of course that is only an opinion.


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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: tramontana
Date Posted: 22 April 2009 at 1:06pm
Have they overhauled her yet, anybody know? she was due to have her G.T's "re-booted" Still one hell of a boat.


Posted By: cducane
Date Posted: 27 March 2012 at 9:10am
You will find her story if you look at the section of the forum dealing with the Brave Class. She was built, as you will see as the yacht Mercury and although her name has been changed to Brave Challrnger she has never been HMS. She was lying looking rather delapidated at Saxon Wharf.

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crusade


Posted By: johnk
Date Posted: 27 March 2012 at 11:51am
Hello,
 
Many thanks for this most interesting update on her, pity now as you say, looking delapidated, fate of so many of course, costs etc of keeping such craft up, when, I know, you can buy a plastic vessel with a lot less "hassle" attached,
 
Johnk


Posted By: Automateck
Date Posted: 29 December 2013 at 10:05am
I worked for a fellow that owned this superyacht. It may fill in a hole or two in the conversation.
His name was Ian Stuart and he owned the challenger around the late 1990s early 2000. I have a pamphlet of the ship still that show pictures and details of the interior and specifcations including Equipment list. Ian used the craft to run guests to "No Man's Land Fort" in the English Channel, which he also owned. This is an armour plated fort, built during Queen Victoria's reign to withstand the French and is now a hotel. Ian also owned the Hastings Pier for a while. This may be were things went bad for him and he had to sell the Challenger as the pier started to crumble and was taken over (legally) by Council.


Posted By: cducane
Date Posted: 29 December 2013 at 11:30am
Ian Stuart came to an arrangement with Wensley H-B but I understand never owned B - Challenger during a time when, for one reason or another it suited both of themo

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crusade


Posted By: Pioneer
Date Posted: 29 December 2013 at 12:52pm
All very interesting and quite intriguing - is there any chance of seeing the images within that pamphlet I wonder?

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Pioneer - Forum Moderator


Posted By: burgundyben
Date Posted: 29 December 2013 at 8:56pm
I think she's still on the Itchen, looking fairly forlorn, still owned by W H-B who I understand to have been the long time owner.
 
Fabulous boat, I'd love to see her running WOT.


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Napier Lion engine wanted.


Posted By: Automateck
Date Posted: 22 April 2014 at 6:29pm
http://www.bmpt.co.uk/uploads/1754/20140422091906429.zip" rel="nofollow - uploads/1754/20140422091906429.zip


Posted By: Automateck
Date Posted: 22 April 2014 at 6:34pm

The brochure is a few paged long so I am attaching Zip files for viewing. http://www.bmpt.co.uk/uploads/1754/20140422091932239.zip" rel="nofollow - uploads/1754/20140422091932239.zip



Posted By: Automateck
Date Posted: 22 April 2014 at 6:52pm
Page 3
http://www.bmpt.co.uk/uploads/1754/20140422091953819.zip" rel="nofollow - uploads/1754/20140422091953819.zip


Posted By: Automateck
Date Posted: 22 April 2014 at 6:53pm
Page 4
http://www.bmpt.co.uk/uploads/1754/20140422092115649.zip" rel="nofollow - uploads/1754/20140422092115649.zip


Posted By: Automateck
Date Posted: 22 April 2014 at 6:54pm
page 5
 
http://www.bmpt.co.uk/uploads/1754/20140422092144356.zip" rel="nofollow - uploads/1754/20140422092144356.zip


Posted By: cat77
Date Posted: 19 January 2016 at 5:41pm
I was rather surprised by my grandson, he  remembered me talking about Mercury and informed me that the yacht Mrercury, built Vospers 1960, was in portsmouth harbour named Brave Challenger.   in 1962-63  she was brought into Malta with problems on fuel starvation, after sorting  it out ,the job of skipper with generous pay was offered to me, as the whole crew had walked off her.        If anybody has any interest in what this very special  yacht was used for i would be pleased to p
ass on some of its history   


Posted By: johnk
Date Posted: 20 January 2016 at 8:24am
Hi there,

Many thanks for this post, do please post any details of this former CF vessel if you would care to, ...

Johnk


Posted By: cducane
Date Posted: 20 January 2016 at 9:31am
Brave Challenger was never a Coastal Forces Craft, She was originally built as a high speed motor yacht based on the Brave Class FPBs for Stavros Niarchos, who was the owner at the time the writer refers to in Malta. I do temember that he had crew problems which ended up with Niarchos sueing Voaper. Needless to say the case was settled out of court. If the person who put the question on the website wishes more information please come back to me. I think she still belongs to Wensley Haydon Baillie, the third owner, who renamed her Brave Challenger.

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crusade


Posted By: cducane
Date Posted: 20 January 2016 at 9:59am
She stated out life as Mercury

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crusade



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