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Artist’s rendering of new Fisher Island Ferry

Passenger growth has private ferry operators adding boats


By John R. Snyder, Publisher & Editor in Chief

ust minutes from Miami Beach, Fisher Island, FL, is reachable only by ferry or private yacht. If you want to rub elbows with the rich and famous, Fisher Island is the place for you. It is one of the most affluent zip codes in the U.S. The 216-acre island resort was once the private winter estate of the William K. Vanderbilt family. St. Johns Ship Building, Palatka, FL, has won the contract to build two new 30-vehicle ferries for Fisher Island Ferry. The contract design for the ferries is by Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), Seattle, WA. Naval architects DeJong & Lebet, Inc., Jacksonville, FL, are performing production design for the project. “We’re proud that we were selected,” says Steven Ganoe, President, St. Johns Ship Building. Ganoe says the contract was awarded in late November and engineering is underway for the two double-ended ferries, which will be delivered in 2019. “The design of these ferries is more of a highend yacht finish,” says Bill Calkins, St. Johns Ship Building’s Production Control Manager. Calkins says Fisher Island is trying to get away from the “commercial ferry look”

to more readily meet the expectations of its affluent residents and visitors. The ferries will have an overall length of 152 ft, beam of 52 ft, depth of 11 ft 8 in, depth at centerline of 12 ft, vehicle capacity of 30, and passenger capacity of 150. Propulsion power will be supplied by EPA Tier 3-compliant Caterpillar C18 main diesel engines that will drive Hundested propellers. Ganoe says the shipyard has bids out for a number of newbuild projects, including some smaller tugs and pushboats, barges, and a landing craft. “We also see the Gulf coming back. We have had an inquiry from a repeat customer for a DP2 vessel.” The contract for the Fisher Island Ferry, follows the shipyard’s successful completion of a series of eight 4,200-hp tugs for Vane Brothers, a 200 ft, Z-drive landing craft that transports freight for the Caribbean, and 17 barges last year.

Miller Boat Line Expands its Fleet EBDG was also chosen to design a new vehicle ferry for Miller Boat Line. Miller Boat Line’s current fleet of passenger vehicle ferries provides a vital connection between the mainland at Catawba Point in Ohio to

South Bass Island and Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie. “We’re very excited by this project,” says Jake Market, Miller Boat Line’s Vice President of Resources, overseeing both capital and human resources. “We’ve been experiencing 3-5% growth over the last 15 years. We’ve outgrown our capacity and it was time to add another big boat.” Back in 2010, Miller Boat Line had invested in stretching the 96 ft Put-inBay with a 40-foot-long midbody section at Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland to increase the boat’s capacity from 18 vehicles to 26 vehicles and 600 passengers. The new boat will be Miller Boat Line’s longest at 140 feet x 38.5 feet with the capacity to accommodate 26 vehicles and 600 passengers. Market says the new steel-hulled boat will have a Tier 3 propulsion plant, be climate controlled and ADA compliant. Working with Elliott Bay Design Group has been a great experience, says Market, and brought some distinct advantages. “We’ve benefited from their work on bigger projects, such as the Staten Island Ferry.” One example is passenger seating. Market explains that as a result of building out the January 2018 // Marine Log 29

Marine Log January 2018