The team at Amels and Damen Yachting has confirmed the sale of 55m Yacht Support Gene Chaser. Complete with custom fleet colours and a research laboratory, the Yacht Support will be used alongside the Amels 180 Gene Machine.

Gene Chaser, from Damen Yachting’s YS 5009 Yacht Support range, was originally launched in late 2020 as Blue Ocean. Over the last two months, Gene Chaser has undergone a period of intense transformation to meet the owner’s requirements for setting up the interior as a working research laboratory and hub for on going scientific projects.

The main salon has been converted into a working wet and dry laboratory, and other interior spaces have been designed for conferences and educational purposes.

Guest suites provide board for eight visiting research and experts, while the crew areas now accommodate a crew of seven and four full-time scientists. The 225sqm exterior deck, with a high-performance knuckle-boom 13 tonne capacity crane, provides space and equipment for Gene Machine’s Fjord 42 and a Hatløy Maritime Oxpro AL8 landing craft, as well as additional mission-specific equipment.

“We’ve achieved an incredible amount of work in a short period of time, and the collaboration with the team at Damen Yachting has been excellent. Watching the transformation take place has been very special and I cannot wait to see Gene Chaser alongside Gene Machine,” comments Matthew Gow, captain of the owner’s 55m Gene Machine.

“Extending the scientific and research side of Gene Machine has been on the cards for a while, and this Yacht Support provides the ideal solution. The owner and his team can dedicate Gene Chaser and its onboard operations to the bold, extensive projects they have planned. It provides more lab space and room for essential equipment; importantly, it also enables them to separate this work from their family time on Gene Machine.”

Owner Dr Jonathan Rothberg sums up the motivation behind Gene Chaser. “Coronavirus reminded us of the fragility of our world. Whether it’s a global pandemic or global climate change, each of us must rise to the challenges we face, as we are best prepared. For my family, this means Gene Chaser and her onboard Gene Lab – a next-generation lab to address mankind’s greatest challenges. Gene Chaser will be the tip of the spear as we deploy never before available technology to characterise, understand, and expand our knowledge of biodiversity, and identify nature’s solutions – within her genes – to the world’s greatest existential threats. We are going to go after genes to combat global warming and clean up the oceans and the air. That’s why it’s the Gene Chaser. In our planet’s very genes lie the answers to our biggest challenges and the key to our salvation.”

Gene Chaser is the eighth Yacht Support to be launched from Damen Yachting’s YS 5009 design. As with all Yacht Supports, of which fifteen in total have been delivered in the last ten years, she features the Damen Sea Axe hull form. What sets Gene Chaser apart from the seven YS 5009s before her is the large multipurpose main deck hangar, which can be used for submersibles and dive operations, or as a vehicle garage and workshop.

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