The first of 19 Incat Crowther-designed 86’x29’ aluminum catamarans for  New York’s Citywide Ferry by Hornblower completed its 1,700 mile passage along the Gulf of Mexico and up the East Coast April 2.

The 149-passenger ferry, dubbed Hull 200, departed with a transit crew from Horizon Shipbuilding, Bayou La Batre, Ala., and attempted a passage on Florida inland waterways before encountering shoal conditions. After returning to a coastwise route, the boat arrived April 2 in New York Harbor.

Ferry operator HNY Ferry Fleet LLC, the Hornblower subsidiary that is running the system for the city, plans to bring up a flotilla of three more vessels next, according to Cameron Clark, a Hornblower senior vice president and the project manager.

There will be more spring transits from Horizon and Metal Shark in Franklin, La., with 19 boats to be in service for the first six routes starting in June.

Meanwhile, work progressed on new floating ferry landings in the city’s boroughs, and at Hornblower’s operating base in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Hull 200 is tied up across the harbor at Jersey City while that work gets done.

Contributing 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 an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 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.