New York ferry operator Seastreak LLC is upping its game with a new Incat Crowther-designed 600-passenger ferry that will be the largest addition to its high-speed catamaran fleet.
The Australian-based naval architecture firm announced Friday it has a contract to draw up a 147’ vessel for Seastreak, to be built by Gulf Craft LLC, Franklin, La. Seastreak operates daily commuter service in New York and New Jersey, and seasonal connections between the city to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket off Massachusetts.
The commuter ferry business has been growing with the city’s employment market. Incat Crowther said the vessel “has been developed in response to significant growth in passenger volume at Seastreak” and will “provide an operational advantage in a very competitive market.”
Incat Crowther has designed eight of Seastreak’s boats and the newest will be based on the company’s four largest 141’x34’ vessels — the Seastreak Wall Street, Seastreak Manhattan, Seastreak Highlands and Seastreak New York.
The maximum capacity on those boats is 505 passengers, and the configuration for the new boat will increase that by 95. On the main deck, 234 passenger seats will be a mix of forward-facing seat rows and booths.
Toilets will be located aft, and a large snack bar amidships in the main cabin. Three sets of stairs lead to the mid deck, with interior seats for 271 passengers and another 52 seats outside. The third deck will hold another 160 exterior seats aft of the wheelhouse, with all-around visibility and forward-sloping windscreens.
The boarding arrangement will align with Seastreak’s existing shore based infrastructure, including large forward and aft side gates. An adjustable bow ramp will facilitate fast turnarounds at the company’s terminals and landings.
Power will come from four MTU 12V4000 M64 Tier 3 main engines, driving four KaMeWa 63S4 waterjets. The setup will provide redundancy and operating efficiency, Incat Crowther said.
Seastreak’s move comes at a time of growth and jockeying in the New York passenger market – both private services and the new public New York Citywide Ferry.
Competitor New York Waterway recently took delivery of the Betsy Ross, its second 109’x31’x6’, 400-passenger high-speed catamaran designed by LeMole Naval Architecture and built at Yank Marine, Tuckahoe, N.J.
Meanwhile HNY Ferry Fleet LLC, the Citywide Ferry operator, is in the midst of having its own Incat Crowther-designed fleet of 149-passenger aluminum catamaran ferries built by Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc., Bayou La Batre, Ala., and Metal Shark, Jeanerette, La. The first ferries for Citywide Ferry are due for delivery in spring 2017. The first 85’4”x26’3” ferries, powered by Baudouin M26.3 diesels producing a service speed of 25 knots, are scheduled to be in operation by next summer, with a subsidized fare of $2.75 – on par with the New York subway system.