Newcastle Shipyards made a name for itself by building expedition megayachts, and it continues the tradition with Chuggaboom. At 117 feet (54 meters) LOA, Chuggaboom is also the largest project it has under construction at present.
More than just rugged in appearance, Chuggaboom is actually a Research Vessel Yacht from the famed design studio Vripack. Vripack has collaborated with a handful of different shipyards worldwide on Research Vessel Yachts, in various sizes. Typically they have been commissioned by megayacht owners who truly want to go exploring. And, typically, these owners approve of having some atypical features onboard.
The owners of Chuggaboom certainly fall in line with both of these ideas. Having extensively cruised, they plan to do even more of it, and to remote locations, aboard Chuggaboom. Of course, their ambitious itinerary includes spending some time on land—and once they’re ready to hit the trails, they’ll roll out motorbikes. But Chuggaboom won’t require being tied to a dock to let the bikes be offloaded. Rather, the megayacht will have specially designed tenders that will tote them to land. The tenders will further have ramps so the bikes can roll right off. When the bikes require maintenance, that will be taken care of in the onboard workshop, contained within the motorbikes’ garage. The garage is also adjacent to the forward boat deck, for ease of access when the bikes are ready to be used.
When cruising at 12 knots (given twin Caterpillar 3516s) or simply enjoying time at anchor, Chuggaboom will treat her owners to an “outrageously spacious” interior, in the words of Bart Bouwhuis, Vripack’s director of design. How spacious? She bears a 37-foot (11.5-meter) beam. The owners have a deck to themselves, boasting all-around views and an observation lounge forward. Guests have staterooms on the lower deck. The full general arrangement hasn’t been released, but it is known that Andrew Winch Designs is handling the design.
Chuggaboom, with additional engineering by Murray & Associates, should be delivered by Newcastle Shipyards in 2013.
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