Rosman Ferries

Rosman Ferries operates ferry services on Sydney Harbour.

Rosman Ferries
FounderCharles Rosman
HeadquartersBerrys Bay
Area served
Sydney Harbour
ServicesFerry operator
ParentNoakes Group


Rosman Ferries was founded by Charles Rosman in 1916, when he launched a ferry service between Balmain, North Sydney and Garden Island carrying dockyard workers to the Royal Australian Navy base. This service ran until 1981.[1]

Rosman Ferris also provided transportation for workers from Balmain to the Harbour Bridge during its construction in the late 1920s and early 1930s as well as spectator ferries for the Sydney Flying Squadron 18-foot skiff races. The spectator ferries were periodically raided by the Gaming Squad on suspicion of harbouring illegal gambling activities.[2]

In February 1938, the Rodney on a charter to farewell the USS Louisville as it sailed out of Sydney Harbour capsized after a sudden movement of passengers from one side to the other on the top deck just as the boat altered course. An inquest later found that there had been over 100 passengers on the top deck. Nineteen people died and Rosman was found to be negligent.[2]

Following Sydney Ferries Limited withdrawing from the run in 1950, Rosman Ferries commenced operating a peak-hour service on the Lane Cove River in November 1950.[1]

In 1987, Rosman retired and sold the business to Steve and Frank Matthews and Ross and Neva Williams. In 1997, the Matthews' bought out the Williams' shareholding and in 2008 sold the business to Sean Langman’s Noakes Group in 2008 who relocated it after 70 years from Mosman Bay to Berrys Bay.[1][2][3]

Today the fleet comprises five ferries:

  • MV Lithgow (1927)[4]
  • MV Proclaim (1939)[5]
  • MV Radar (1947)[6]
  • MV Royale (1974)[7]
  • MV Regal II (1981)[8]


  1. Andrews, Graeme (1994). Ferries of Sydney (3 ed.). Sydney: Sydney University Press. pp. 131–136. ISBN 0 424 00202 7.
  2. Rosman Ferries Club Marine volume 25 issue 1
  3. Home Noakes Group
  4. Lithgow Rosman Ferries
  5. Proclaim Rosman Ferries
  6. Radar Rosman Ferries
  7. Royale Rosman Ferries
  8. Regal II Rosman Ferries
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