We have always enjoyed boating, and a couple of years ago, the opportunity arose to buy a Nelson 32, now named Brave Emma. Why such a name? From Lord Nelson himself, who once said:
Brave Emma! good Emma! If there were more Emmas there would be more Nelsons.
("Nelson" by Carola Oman, Greenhill Books, 1996 reprint of 1946 original, page 593)
Brave Emma started her working life as a Royal Naval picket boat, we believe in Portsmouth Dockyard around 1971-72. By 1995, she was much the worse for wear, and was bought by a boatbuilder on the Isle of Wight as a restoration project. We bought on her 1 November 1996, at which time his refit was complete. Since then, we have been gradually turning her into the vessel of our dreams. In 1997, she underwent further major internal work, including replacement of her engine beds and installation of a 4.5 kVA diesel generator. Wiring up was completed in the summer of 1998, and she is now being shaken down ready for some serious cruising.
Powered by two Perkins 135 horsepower Range IV diesel engines, she should see 20 knots once all the mechanical gremlins have been sorted out. She now has a good fit of navigational instruments, and ample power to supply amateur radio equipment.
Our aim is to cruise the South Coast, including trips across the Channel. We will be operating amateur radio from her: I will post details of such Maritime Mobile (/MM) operation when it is likely to happen. M1BWR/MM should be active on 2, 4 and 6 metre amateur bands at different times, with up to 150 W from a range of Yagi beams and possibly the occasional vertical.
Latest news is that it looks as if the starboard engine is going to need fairly major transplant surgery. Whilst her port engine was nearly new (around 20 hours) and a straight marine engine, the starboard one was reconditioned from a generator set. Although replacement fuel pump and rejetting the injectors has matched maximum rpm, there are some residual problems which should be addressed in the coming weeks.
Brave Emma pictured before her major work in late 1996
Last updated 2 Oct 1998