Washburn & Doughty has been selected to build a new $8.8 million ferry for the Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS). The East Boothbay, Maine, company was one of five bidders — and the only Maine shipbuilder — who submitted a proposal. The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) sent a Notice of Intent to Award the contract to the shipyard.

The new 154-foot passenger-vehicle ferry was designed by Gilbert Associates Inc., Braintree, Mass. Designed to be able to serve any of the MSFS island communities other than Matinicus, it will have three main deck lanes, for a capacity of 23 cars or a mix of cars and trucks, as well as 250 passengers.

In 1992-1993, Washburn & Doughty built three ferries — known as the “sister ships” — that are still in operation for the Maine State Ferry Service.

“We are honored to have been selected to construct the new ferry service vessel for the Maine State Ferry Service,” said Katie Doughty Maddox, vice president of sales and marketing at Washburn & Doughty. “This contract will create jobs at our shipyard during its construction and we are proud to have our Maine workers building a vessel to serve Maine residents, businesses and visitors to our Midcoast island communities.”

The MSFS, a division of the MaineDOT, serves the island communities of Vinalhaven, North Haven, Islesboro, Swans Island, Frenchboro and Matinicus.

Capital costs for the ferry service — including the construction of the ferries, maintenance and upgrade to facilities and improvements to supporting infrastructure — is fully funded through MaineDOT. The funding for the construction of the new ferry to be built by Washburn & Doughty will come from a combination of Maine bond funding and other local highway fund and federal dollars.

“We are thrilled to have a Maine boatyard with an impeccable history of quality as the successful bidder for the new ferry boat,” said David Bernhardt, commissioner of MaineDOT. “Washburn & Doughty built three of the ferry boats currently in operation for the Maine State Ferry Service, and we look forward to partnering with them for our first new boat in more than five years.”


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David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.