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Vessel Number: HV000253
Date: 1939
Vessel Dimensions: 21.03 m x 6.86 m x 2.36 m, 80 tonnes (69 ft x 22.51 ft x 7.74 ft, 81.28 tons)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
PROCLAIM is a small Sydney Harbour ferry built in 1939 by the well known boat builders Morrison and Sinclair at Longnose Point, Birchgrove in Sydney Harbour. It is an example of the wide output of craft built by that company. PROCLAIM began its long association with Sydney Harbour and Balmain as one of the many vessels in the Nicholson Brothers fleet. In 2009 PROCLAIM was in its 70th year of continuous operation as a ferry on Sydney Harbour. It is one of about ten small inner-harbour ferries that are known to have survived from the many more that once worked the Harbour.
DescriptionPROCLAIM has carried thousands of Sydneysiders, commuters, workmen, service personnel, tourists, dignitaries and school children in seventy continuous years of commercial operation on Sydney Harbour.

PROCLAIM was designed and built to the requirements and specifications of its owners Nicholson Brothers Harbour Transport Pty Ltd. They were a well established firm that operated many craft on the harbour carrying passengers and undertaking general duties. The ferry was fitted with a four cylinder Atlas Imperial Marine diesel from the USA and supplied by the Australian distributors, W.L. Holmes and Company of McMahons Point Sydney. It developed 100 kw (135 hp) at 325 rpm. PROCLAIM was licensed to carry 347 passengers and able to do 10.5 knots.

PROCLAIM was the largest vessel built for Nicholson Brothers in the 1930s and was launched on 12 December 1939 with great ceremony. It was christened by the Mrs Angelini, Balmain's Lady Mayoress and the launching was attended by members of parliament, council aldermen, religious representatives, the Nicholson family and friends, employees, and trade representatives.

PROCLAIM’s first engagement was carrying spectators at the Australia Day Sydney Harbour Regatta on 26 January 1940. Because the ferry joined the growing Nicholson fleet shortly after the outbreak of World War II its workload very soon began to increase. The Erskine Street to Balmain route was intended to be PROCLAIM's primary route but it was called upon to provide other harbour passenger transport tasks during the war.

Post-war it took part in excursions and recreational activities as a charter vessel. These included many popular company outings such as the AWA Radiola Conference in 1948 and the Associated Bread Manufacturing Conference picnic in 1949.

In the 1950s PROCLAIM was operating on the Cockatoo Island run. Known as 'Tubby' or 'Fatty' in the Nicholson fleet it was also popularly referred to as 'The Balmain Ferry'. In 1969 it commenced a new service from Meadowbank to Circular Quay which lasted only 18 months.

In 1976 the original Atlas Engine was replaced by a modern high speed turbo-charged Cummins Diesel engine with two auxiliary diesels to provide electric and hydraulic power for lighting, entertainment, refrigeration, steering and anchor handling.

PROCLAIM has been an inner-harbour ferry with four other owners since passing from Nicholson Brothers in 1982; Stannards Brothers Launch Services (1982-1991), Cobb Marine (1991-1999), Brystand Pty Ltd (1999-2008) and, in 2009, Noakes Boat And Shipyards Pty Ltd. Each change of owner has brought changes to the livery. The 2009 colours align PROCLAIM with the famous Rosman ferries now operated as part of the Noakes Fleet.

Prepared with information provided by Mori Flapan at and Rosman Ferries

Vessel Details
Ballast:cast iron
Cabin or superstructure material and construction:timber planked
Current status:operational
Deck material and construction:timber planked
Hull material and construction:carvelcarvel-planked
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:canoe stern/double endedDE
Hull shape:displacement
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb stemvertical stem
Hull shape:round bottom
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:full keel
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:keel hung rudder
Motor propulsion:diesel
Motor propulsion:inboard
Motor propulsion:motor vesselMV
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:wheel
Alternate Numbers

Vessel Registration Number: 172896

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