As well as producing its well-known small Seawards such as the 23 back in the ’80s, Seaward was also fitting out Nelson hulls to order. It built six Nelson 45s using hulls moulded by Tyler Boat Co: a cockpit motor yacht, a marine ambulance called Flying Christine III for St John Ambulance that was based in Guernsey, and four aft-cabin motor yachts, of which this is one. Today, Seaward’s range has expanded ever upward, and its latest 42 is effectively the modern version of this boat.
Full suspension seats for the helmsperson and navigator set the tone of the interior of a boat built more for serious offshore passagemaking than maxing out living space. But the aft-cabin layout means that whilst the accommodation is narrow, it’s long, and so there are two cabins, one at each end, a saloon and a separate dinette opposite the galley forward on the lower deck.
An external double helm position and a pair of inward-facing settees, all on the aft deck again, point to a boat with serious offshore passagemaking in mind rather than acres of sunpad for lounging around at anchor. But low, wide teak-laid side decks and a Treadmaster-clad foredeck make it a safe and easy boat to crew.
Re-engined in 2003 with a pair of Mermaid Turbo Plus 300hp engines swinging four bladed props via Twin Disc gearboxes, this Nelson 45 tops out at 21 knots. That might not seem super fast, but the difference is that it rarely needs to slow down.
The reason for that, and the narrow accommodation, is a hull that is a firm favourite with pilots, police, customs, and anyone else that needs to get the job done irrespective of weather. This is the bruiser of the four this month – built to take on any sea and win.
Grabrails in the galley point to this boat’s offshore intent Bunks rather than a big double berth in this seamanlike fit-out Teak cabinets and piped blue upholstery in the traditionally styled saloon