Past and PresentSealinkSouthern RegionWightlink

MV Brading – Past and Present

MV Brading

© Ted Ingham

Brading © Ted Ingham

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1948 at Wm. Denny & Bros., Dumbarton, Scotland (Yard No 1412) as a TM Ferry/General Cargo vessel.

Technical Data

  • Length: 61.04 m (overall) 55.35 m (between perpendiculars)
    Breadth: 14.53 m
    Depth: 3.20 m
    Draught: 2.134 m
    Tonnage: 938 – 986 gross/531 net/182 deadweight
    Engines: 2 Oil SA 8-cylinder 8-MG-32 Sulzer diesels
    Power: 1398 – 1417 kW/1900 bHP
    Speed: 14.5 knots
    Capacity: 1,131 passengers (Summer) 1112 (Winter)
    Call Sign: MPZR
    IMO Number: 5050050
    Official Number: 182723
    Port of Registry: Portsmouth/UK
    Sister-Ship: Shanklin, Southsea


March 11th 1948: Launched.

Courtesy of Malcolm Cranfield

Courtesy of Malcolm Cranfield (Brading and Southsea fitting ou)

November 1st 1948: Left Dumbarton for Portsmouth.

November 10th 1948: Delivered to The British Transport Commission (Southern Region) for their Portsmouth – Ryde service.


June 15th 1953: Present at the Coronation review of Queen Elizabeth II.

© Derek Longly 

© Derek Longly

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

May 13th 1960: “A navy liberty boat, D11, was crossing Portsmouth harbour from Gosport to HMS Vernon with civilian workers on the way home. In attempting to avoid a yacht entering harbour it was run down by BRADING on its way to Ryde. Four people from the boat were killed.”.

1965: For a short time painted with new livery, complete blue hull.

Sealink News

Sealink News

1966/67: Received major overhaul with an extra passenger deck, as a continuation of the bridge deck, and improved seating and catering facilities. The extra decks fitted to the trio were called Spar Decks – they each had seats for 170 passengers. The refit also involved the two lounges on the Main Deck. The bar/ cafeteria was moved from the after lounge into the forward one and in order to create extra space for the modified catering arrangements, plus 100 seats, a section of the cargo hold was reclaimed while the hold-space openings were plated in. Emerged with “stove pipes” projecting from the funnel tops, but during the 1967-8 overhaul the funnel was built up to conceal these pipes, resulting in deeper black tops.

© A G Jones

© A G Jones (Newhaven, 14/10/1966)

1973: Sealink trading name painted on hulls.

© Tony Garner

© Tony Garner (Ryde Pier, 06/07/1975)

June 11th 1977: In force 4 winds, when avoiding a yacht she was hit by a freak wave. Water entered the hull; baggage and deck fittings were washed overboard. 7 injured.

January 1st 1979: Sold to Sealink UK ltd., London.

© Peter Longhurst

© Peter Longhurst (Portsmouth, 1981)

© John Hendy

New” © John Hendy (September 1983)

© Brian Fisher 

© Brian Fisher (Portsmouth, June 1984)(Left) Nigel Thornton Collection (Right)

© Patrick Hill

© Patrick Hill (27/08/1984)

© John Hendy

New” © John Hendy (August 1984)

© Brian Fisher  © Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher

July 1984: Sealink U.K. was sold to Sea Containers Ltd, Bermuda for just £66 million. The company then operated under the company name of Sealink British Ferries U.K.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Portsmouth, 01/06/1985)

© Patrick Hill  © Patrick Hill

© Patrick Hill (Portsmouth, 26/08/1985)

February 21st 1986: Broke down with reverse gear failure in the port engine. Withdrawn, boarded up and placed in permanent lay up in Portsmouth Harbour.

© Stevo  © Stevo

© Stevo (1988-89)

© John Hendy

New” © John Hendy (August 1991)

May 1992: Arrived in tow at Newhaven. Laid up for sale.

August 1994: Sold to H G Pounds, Portsmouth (Shipbreakers) and demolition commenced.

© Jenxy

© Jenxy (Ship Nostalgia Gallery)

November 1st 1994: Sparks from a welders torch set the remains of the ship alight, destroying what was left.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Malcolm Cranfield, Brian Fisher, Tony Garner, John Hendy, Patrick Hill, Ted Ingham, Peter Longhurst, Derek Longly, Simonwp, Stevo and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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