News & Events

Highly Innovative New 34m Catamaran Ferry for MONA

The hugely successful art gallery MONA and ferry operators Navigators have taken delivery of their state of the art new catamaran ferry ‘MR-1’ (MONA ROMA 1).  Built by Incat Tasmania and designed by Chamberlin Marine, MR-1 will transit the route along the Derwent River, between Brooke St Pier in downtown Hobart and the MONA site in Berriedale.

At 33.7m overall (111ft), with unusual lines and a number of very distinctive features, even the full ‘camouflage’ style paint job won’t allow her to go unnoticed.  Internally MR-1 continues to impress with three separate bars (including a swanky VIP bar), extra height ceilings, expansive windows that frame the beautiful scenery of the Derwent River and a number of art installations that really are a must see.

MR-1 is constructed in aluminium and runs two resiliently mounted Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines, each producing 1300BHP and spinning a Mikado five bladed propeller via an island mounted Twin Disk MGX 6620 SC gearbox.  She holds 7600L of diesel, 1900L of fresh water and 1900L of sullage and will carry 240 passengers in style at a service speed of 24.9 knots.

The innovations delivered by MR-1 emanate from a range of sources, firstly the requirements of a vessel associated with Museum of Old and New Art and the desire for a new, fresh and ‘out of the box’ approach.  MONA is not well known for following convention and your standard ferry would not have been a suitable solution.

Key to the final design was the ideas and input of operators Navigators, who sought a vessel designed specifically to meet their needs and used their significant experience to drive the project and ensure they achieved this goal.  This included appointing a lesser known designer in Chamberlin Marine who have gained a reputation for innovative thinking and who were willing to dedicate the time and effort required to develop a new concept completely from scratch, in order to meet their needs.

Finally, the wealth of knowledge and experience within Incat Tasmania who were able to deliver a level of craftsmanship and quality not often found on a vessel of this size.  The quality of construction on board MR-1 is world class and Incat were able to utilise ideas and innovations developed over decades at the forefront of the high speed ferry industry.

Principle designers Chamberlin Marine teamed up with Revolution Design who completed the construction drawings and a range of detailed design work.  “We commenced design work in late May knowing that a vessel delivery date early in the New Year was essential, under such tight time scales teaming up with someone with that level of expertise and a working relationship with the yard was an easy decision.” says Chamberlin Marine Managing Director Kim Chamberlin.  “Within only weeks of us delivering the initial design, the team at Revolution had the first drawings issued to the yard and the vessel was taking shape, they did a fantastic job”.

Chamberlin Marines innovative new hull design underwent model testing at the Australian Maritime College facilities in Launceston prior to construction and has demonstrated significant advantages over those conventionally utilised on similar vessels as well as low wash characteristics.  The hull form was optimised for load carrying capability in order to efficiently transport the vessels impressive fit out which includes three separate bar and function areas, four open air viewing decks, extensive use of glass, a large and well appointed galley, bespoke furniture, a number of art displays and a grand wheelhouse that will be the envy of skippers everywhere.

MR-1 is a completely unique vessel that sets a new standard in the passenger ferry industry and is sure to become one of the key attractions for visitors to MONA and Hobart.

Bruce Arms Claims Two World Records Onboard Chamberlin 14m


Bruce Arms has successfully completed a solo circumnavigation of Australia onboard his Chamberlin 14m ‘Big Wave Rider’, claiming both the fastest solo unassisted record and the record for the first solo non stop circumnavigation in a multihull. (The new time is subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC)). Bruce and Big Wave Rider battled the weather for the majority of the trip including becalmings on the North West Coast, severe storms rounding Cape Leeuwin and head winds across the Southern Ocean but still managed to better by three days the current record set by Ian Thomson in 2010.

At times Bruce faced 60 knots+ winds and 12m seas that battered the boat and had Bruce fearing he would be forced to abandon the record and run for shelter. During the height of the storm the drouge was lost when the lines parted, leaving Big Wave Rider surfing down the 12m waves at speeds over 24 knots. While attempting to jury rig a drouge with a set of bolt cutters, Bruce had a close brush with death when the line wrapped around his leg, almost pulling him overboard and leaving him with an injured knee and deep wounds around his lower leg. Although shaken at the time, battered and bruised at the finished line Bruce was able to laugh it off commenting that the boat had held up better than he did.

After the storm Bruce sent out an update on his blog which included a big thanks to Robin Chamberlin for designing a vessel that handled the conditions so well and saved the day. Big Wave Rider finished the epic journey with only a few leaky windows and chaffed lines to show for it, leaving Bruce rapt with both her strength and reliability as well as her performance which included a 200+ mile day hard on the wind in the Southern Ocean and some great runs which allowed them to better the record, even through prolonged adverse weather.

Congratulations to Bruce and the team on a job well done!


There is coverage of the finish at abc online (link below) with audio of the finish including interviews from Bruce, his father Les and supporters such as Jessica Watson.

The following link is a blog posted by Bruce on return from his voyage, discussing the performance of Big Wave Rider throughout the journey.


Around Australia Record Attempt

11 July 2011


Yesterday Bruce Arms was farewelled from Mooloolaba Marina by a crowd of supporters as he embarked on his latest challenge in his Chamberlin 14 Big Wave Rider. Bruce aims to set a new WSSRC ratified record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of Australia and if successful he will also be the first person to circumnavigate Australia solo and unassisted in a multihull.


Preparations have been underway for many months now and while feeling both excited and nervous, Bruce was eager to get going after all the hard work involved in getting to the start line. Bruce’s progress can be followed from the tracker website shown below or where you can also follow regular updates from Bruce and the team.


We wish you the best of luck Bruce and a safe voyage!

Nitro takes on the big boys.... and wins!!




Nitro (a Chamberlin 10.6) entered the Auckland to Musket Cove Ocean Yacht Race as the smallest boat in the fleet, with the smallest crew and the smallest budget but walked away with a win and a lot of respect from the larger yachts.


Designer Robin Chamberlin joined owner/skipper Steven Arms and crew Chris Skinner for the race which included high profile yachts such as the new Team New Zealand Volvo 70 Camper and in the multihull division Team Vodafone Sailing, an ORMA 60 Tri. At 35ft, Nitro was dwarfed by the entire fleet as they lined up for the start, the majority of the fleet of 16 being 45ft plus and the next smallest multi a 55ft cat.


Nitro took out the multihull division on corrected time (which was the first ever international multihull race out of New Zealand) and beat a lot of highly respected yachts over the line, including the Maxi Lion New Zealand.


The trip home proved to be a little more difficult however with Steven Arms and Robin Chamberlin sailing two handed and battling heavy weather for the final two days, only to be blown back offshore by a 50knot squall just as they entered the harbour and what they though was the end of journey!



Hybrid 7.5 Sea Trials in Hobart

Two weeks ago we made the trip down to Hobart for sea trials onboard the new Hybrid 7.5 power cat ‘Waxed’ and as promised, have posted some photos. The Hybrid really has exceeded all expectations and so far everyone who has been lucky enough to get onboard has been blown away by her performance (including us!).


The fun began with a trip through the centre of Hobart, watching the bemused expressions of pedestrians as this large, strange looking boat passes them being towed by such a small car. The boat and trailer come in at under 2 tonnes so can be pulled by small 4WDs and many 2WDs (which is quite a sight). We then hit the water and had a play in the sheltered area around the ramp before heading out to find some rough water around Bruny Island in the gusty conditions of around 30 knots.


We found what we wanted and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! The ride of the Hybrid is spectacularly soft and really has no equal. We tried in vain to find other boats around to annoy but the rough conditions kept everyone at home except a few salmon farmers who certainly took notice as we passed. None the less we had a good time and stopped in at Kettering to see another Chamberlin owner Morris Crawford.


You really notice the difference when you can cruise at 25+ knots in such rough water and we had the boat back to Hobart, washed and in the shed in less than 2 hours from leaving Kettering. It is also a great treat when you don’t have to fill the boat up at the end of the day because the efficiency is so good you can get over 300 nautical miles out of the tanks!


I’m pleased to say there is already a great deal of interest being generated in the concept, we have started work on a 9.5m version and have also had enquiries about a workboat for which the Hybrid hullform would be a perfect match. All of the specs on the design can be found in the article below, including a brochure and if you would like any further information or a study print please feel free to contact us.