Brave Challenger is a Maritime Heritage Preservation Project and part of the Haydon-Baillie Maritime Heritage Group and listed in the National Historic Ships UK register.


Brave Challenger is the only surviving example of the Brave Class design of fast boats built by Vosper Ltd in Portsmouth in 1961 alongside the Royal Navy’s patrol boats HMS Brave Borderer and HMS Brave Swordsman. Brave Challenger was built with the special consent of the Admiralty and the Royal Navy to be completed and equipped for private use.


Brave Challenger is 103 feet long (31 metres) and powered by three Rolls-Royce gas turbines totaling 13,500 SHP and has a proven top speed of 60 knots. Higher speeds can be achieved using alternative Vosper designed fully cavitating high speed propellers.


First acquired by W. G. Haydon-Baillie in 1979, Brave Challenger was restored to flagship standard at a purpose-built facility in Southampton, the Haydon-Baillie Aircraft and Naval Collection, over a 10-year period between 1979 and 1989 which involved over 2.2 million-man hours of specialist work.


Brave Challenger has recently undergone Stage 1 of a major refit in Portsmouth during 2017-2020 which will be followed by Stage 2 enabling operation of full seagoing capability on a long-term basis.


Brave Challenger’s permanent support base in Southampton contains an additional 54 spare Rolls-Royce gas turbine engines, 10 spare v-drive gearboxes, plus extensive engine, gearbox, propulsion and ship spares. Together with all the necessary factory tooling and overhaul equipment this will ensure Brave Challenger will continue to operate at the highest standard and demands for decades to come.


Brave Challenger’s future role includes a long-established commitment to specialist oceanography and marine conservation research for which it has unique capabilities.


December 2019

Welcome to a new website for
Brave Challenger.


There will be much more content coming in 2023/24 including pictures, machinery facts and figures, restoration news and future plans.