With sea trials and Coast Guard certification complete, the second 149-passenger catamaran for NYC Ferry was delivered by Horizon Shipbuilding Inc., Bayou La Batre, Ala., and will depart for New York City soon, the shipbuilders said late Thursday.

A crew with HNY Ferry Fleet, the Hornblower subsidiary operating the city’s new public ferry system, will transit the nearly 2,000-mile Gulf and East Coast route that took the first boat, Hull 200, into New York Harbor April 2.

Hull 201 passed its trials with a “clean sweep”, said C.V. Partridge, the NYC Ferry project manager for Horizon. “ All systems functioned as designed and the boat operated in an outstanding fashion throughout testing.  Horizon is proud to provide Hornblower with an excellent boat.”

A complement of 19 new vessels is to be delivered by Horizon and Metal Shark, Franklin, La.

With the first Incat Crowther-designed 86’x29’ vessels arriving in April, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced this week that the longest route – a one-hour ride between Rockaway in Queens and Wall Street – will begin operations a month early on May 1.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz praised the accelerated start date for Rockaway, saying the seaside neighborhood “has long been underserved by traditional mass transit.”

“The revised service hours are a direct result of the city's consideration of the community's significant input and insights on its needs,” Katz said as the schedules were announced. “By this time next month, the future of transportation will be up and running.”

An existing East River route will also come under the NYC Ferry system May 1, with the fare falling from $4 to the city-subsidized $2.75.

While it will be the same price as other public transit fares like the subway, the NYC Ferry system will still need some intergovernmental work to be fully integrated into the city’s mass-transit pass system as transport experts advocate. But in the meantime ferry riders can use free transfers between NYC Ferry routes.

The South Brooklyn Route, with stops in Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Red Hook and Brooklyn Bridge Park will begin service June 1. The Astoria Route will launch in August, with exact date still being determined, and the Lower East Side and Soundview Routes will be launching in 2018.

Developed by the New York Economic Development Corporation, the venture was known as Citywide Ferry during the planning and construction process. New branding arrived this week, with a new logo and promotion developed by Inamoto & Co., a digital and branding agency based in Gowanus, Brooklyn.



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.