New Martha’s Vineyard ferry delivered

The Woods Hole, a new passenger ferry built for the Steamship Authority of Woods Hole, Mass., has been delivered.

The delivery was announced by the ferry’s designer, Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG). The 235’x64’x10’5” Woods Hole was built by Conrad Industries, Morgan City, La., and is the second ferry EBDG has designed for the Steamship Authority. The Woods Hole entered service in June.

A single-ended ferry with a bow thruster and a service speed of 14.5 knots, the Woods Hole is designed to be primarily a “super freight boat” that, when not carrying a full freight load, also serves as a passenger and car ferry carrying up to 384 passengers and 55 cars. The boat is capable of carrying 1 million lbs. of tractor trailer freight within hard constraints of maximum draft, length, and beam.

According to EBDG, the company’s scope for the project included extensive concept design and design validation. The company acted as technical liaison during construction, and coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard.

“It was a great project to participate in during the construction,” said Brian King, vice president of engineering at Elliott Bay and project manager for the Woods Hole. “The on-site Steamship Authority team, Conrad, and EBDG were all working together with common purpose. Conrad’s depth of experience, attention to detail, and pride of workmanship was evident throughout. I couldn’t be more pleased with how well they translated our design into reality.”

Design features were driven by operating environment requirements. Ship’s power comes from a pair of MTU 4000 series Tier 3 diesel engines. Shallow water turbulence and bottom scouring are factors for several of the ports, and the Woods Hole incorporates controllable-pitch propellers to minimize propeller wake wash when accelerating. High lift rudders and a directionally vectorable bow thruster enable tight maneuvering, and the vessel can turn in its own length. Noise mitigation also was given high priority to provide quieter operation for those on board and on shore.

The ferry will run the 45-minute route to and from the island of Martha’s Vineyard and the community of Woods Hole, as well as the longer route between Hyannis, Mass., and Nantucket Island, according to the Steamship Authority website.

About the author

Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is WorkBoat's online editor.

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