Header Image for trimaran Time Machine Article

PART 1. Long Time Coming

I had seen the then unnamed Time Machine at various stages of her evolution dating back to (I'm pretty sure) the late 1980's in Victoria, Australia, and then in later years on the Australian Gold Coast.

 When she turned up on Julie Geldard's Vidpicpro gallery pages after the 2017 Australian Multihull Championships I was quite blown away and wanted to know more. 

Fortuitously the next morning there was an email with some photos from the man who brought her to life, Matt von Bibra.

Matt thought I might be interested. Hell yeah!  I immediately replied to Matt and asked him to tell me more.


I also made a brief post about the boat on our facebook page and it attracted more than twice as much interest, (according to the facebook stats), as anything else we've ever posted. That made me even more curious. What's going on here?

 Matt has been very generous with information about the boat and it's an interesting story. 

What follows here is a two part article about Time Machine.


Plain text is by Tony Grainger. The bold text by Matt von Bibra


Read on…

Time Machine competing in the Australian Multihull Championships in Brisbane 2017. Julie Geldard photo.
Time Machine competing in the Australian Multihull Championships in Brisbane 2017. Julie Geldard photo.

Launched before time

Time Machine started on the long road to its present status in the late 1980's. She was purchased partially built and moved to Queensland where she went though a series of transformations and various states of completion under different owners before being purchased by the current owner Matt von Bibra and finally launched for the Australian Multihull Championships in 2009 (which by the way could be more elegantly named the "Australian Nationals" or Australian Multihull Nationals" as Matt refers to the bi annual event). 

Matt reports; "We went into this regatta with no prior racing and with a lot of detail that we inherited with the boat. It had centreboards in each float that were 500mm chord and 1m. under the hull when fully down. The boat went one length forward and one length sideways and performed poorly. It was after this that I put the boat away in a makeshift shed in my in-laws back yard and just did what I wanted to do. This took a lot longer than I expected so the name ‘Time Machine’ is appropriate on many fronts".

The Time Machine Project brings new meaning to the term "Backyard Boat Building". Click on the pic's for a larger image.

A  question of time

Matt continues:

With 2 kids under 4 years, family and work commitment’s I only just got the boat to a stage where I considered it race prepared a few days before the regatta.

Prior to the 2017 Nationals the boat had done just one race of the QCYC winter series at half throttle.

From that we had a list of items to develop and an inkling that in light air the boat was a serious weapon. 


We had a nasty storm cell come through Brisbane the week leading up to the regatta so we waited for it to come through and gave the boat a test in 30 knots behind Green Island.

We hammered the boat and ourselves, prodder fully under water going upwind. It was a bit risky thinking back – but out of that we knew we had a tough little boat that we could push hard. 

Trimaran Time Machine downwind in light air
Time Machine downwind in light air



As the boys


called it “a wild


wild brumby”!


Now we just


need to learn


how to tame it!

Taming Wild Brumbies

The regatta started in a good 20 knots and we were well positioned prior to getting into irons through a tack caused by me standing on the wrong rig cant button!

That happened a few times during the race which was annoying as we were blowing the doors off the Diam 24’s on the beat from the Cleveland Yellow to the top of Peel Island. By the end of the regatta we got much better at tacking! 

We won the second race and should have won the third race on OMR if it was not for some tactical and starting mistakes. 


The long race was really pleasing. The boat was on fire upwind in the 8 knots and Ullman Sails, the Extreme 40 and ourselves had cleared out on the fleet. The 50 degree shift at the top of the beat which turned the VMG run into a reach all the way home put the fire out on our OMR chances with our downwind sails more VMG designs - but the boat showed its potential.

Overall it was a big ask entering the boat in this regatta as its first race but we are super happy with how it went. As the boys called it “a wild wild brumby”! Now we just need to learn how to tame it!

The Essential Eight Venom racing in the Australian Multihull Championships on Moreton Bay in 2008. Time Machine initially deployed the production floats from the Essential Eight but they were later modified with the longer bows with the assistance of Gordon Myers who was the driving force behind the Essential Eight design.


Gordon was one of the first people to recognise the importance of high buoyancy floats if you want good performance (and safety) and has been a strong advocate of them every since.






Trimaran Venom
Essential 8 Venom racing in the Australian Multihull Championships 2008