Eastern Shipbuilding, Staten Island Ferry cut first steel for new boats

First steel was cut Aug. 29 for the new Ollis-class Staten Island ferries, during a ceremony with the New York City Department of Transportation and Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc., at the shipyard’s Allanton facility in Panama City, Fla.

Eastern will construct and deliver three 320’x70’x13’ ferries to NYCDOT’s Staten Island Ferry Division. The double-ended 4,500-passenger ferries are from a preliminary design provided by Elliot Bay Design Group, Seattle.

Each 9,980-hp vessel will be powered by four Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) 12-710 Tier 4-compliant propulsion engines, with two engines driving one Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining reduction gears one 36 RV6 ECS/285-2 Voith Schneider propeller at each end of the vessel. Fuel capacity will be 30,000 gals.

First steel is cut for a new Staten Island ferry at Eastern Shipbuilding Group. ESG photo.

First steel is cut for a new Staten Island ferry at Eastern Shipbuilding Group. ESG photo.

The ferries will have seating for 2,551 passengers and total capacity of 4,500 plus 16 crew. The ferries will be rated ABS Maltese Cross A1, ferry service, river service, Maltese Cross AMS, and certified under Coast Guard Subchapter H for passenger vessels.

The first of the new ferry class is to be named for Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, a Staten Island native who served with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. Ollis, 24, died Aug. 28, 2013, during an attack in Ghanzi province, when he stepped in to block a suicide bomber, saving the life of a Polish officer. Ollis was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and Polish Armed Forces Gold Medal.

Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis. U.S. Army photo.

Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis. U.S. Army photo.

Staten Island Ferry operators, builders and designers at the first steel cutting. ESG photo.

Staten Island Ferry operators, builders and designers at the first steel cutting. ESG photo.

Attending the ceremony from Staten Island Ferry was John Collins, director of ferry engineering, and Bill Tomalonis, vessel construction manager. Eastern’s project managers are Kenneth Winpigler, Joe Stark, and Brian D’Isernia Jr. for construction, outfitting, and delivery for the ferries. The project engineering staff Elliott Bay Design Group and Glosten Associates, Seattle, were also in attendance. Eastern selected Guido Perla & Associates, Seattle, to produce the detailed design work while Eastern’s vice president of engineering, Fernando Malabet, and naval architect Kim Brooks are overseeing the design and engineering efforts for the project.


About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.


  1. Avatar
    Edmund M.Squire on

    Good Luck to all involved in building these new ferries, named after Staff Sgt. Micheal H. Ollis, a great American serviceman from Staten Island. Build these boat well, as Staten Islanders are looking for more new good boats for the next generation. Can you keep me posted, as to construction progress. Thank you.

  2. Avatar
    Edmund M. Squire, retired ferry Captain Staten Island Ferries 2002. on

    Good luck in building these new Staten Island Ferries. build them to last a long time. Could keep me posted, as to construction progress? Thank you.

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