Last week, the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority (SSA) awarded a $36.4 million contract for the construction of a new passenger/vehicle ferry, the Woods Hole, to Conrad Shipyard, Morgan City, La.
Conrad was the low bidder for the contract to build the 384-passenger, 55-vehicle, 235’x64’x18’6″ ferry. SSA, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., also received a bid of $41 million from Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Fla. As of Dec. 12, Conrad has a backlog of $170 million, compared to $135 million on Sept. 30 and $153 million on Dec. 31, 2013.
In early December, SSA Director of Engineering and Maintenance Carl Walker, Capt. Edward Jackson of Marine Systems Corp., and Brian King of Elliott Bay Design Group, designers of the new ferry, traveled to Conrad, met with shipyard representatives and toured the facilities. The group concluded that Conrad was capable of constructing the new ferry in accordance with SSA’s contract requirements and has the required experience.
SSA approved a $40.2 million overall budget for the project, which includes the estimated cost of design and engineering services, owner-furnished equipment, the cost of having SSA representatives at the shipyard during the appropriate stages of vessel construction, and an allowance of 2.5% for unforeseen contingencies. SSA also awarded a $275,000 bowthruster contract to Tees Components Ltd., Cleveland, United Kingdom. The bowthruster, which is the same model as the one installed on the 230’x60′ Martha’s Vineyard, is being purchased as owner-furnished equipment to be installed in the Woods Hole. It is the only major owner-furnished equipment being supplied for the construction of the new ferry. When it is delivered in the May 2016, the Woods Hole will service Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The new ferry will replace the 250-passenger/42-vehicle 242’x65′ Governor, which was built in 1954 and originally served on the West Coast.
SSA also awarded a $948,893 contract for drydock and overhaul services for the 255′, 1,200-passenger/80-car double-ended ferry Island Home to Thames Shipyard & Repair Company, New London, Conn. The Island Home, built by VT Halter Marine in 2007, is scheduled to go into the shipyard by early April 2015. The ferry will undergo a required U.S. Coast Guard hull exam, machinery inspections, underwater hull cleaning and painting, superstructure painting, rub rail repairs and installation of anti-swaying equipment for the lift decks.