Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) has delivered the first of three new 320'x70'x21'6" Ollis-class ferries to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division.
The Michael H. Ollis, Hull 219, departed ESG’s Port St. Joe facility in early August fully certified and passenger ready.
Dann Ocean Towing’s Colonel towed the ferry from Port St. Joe, Fla., to New York City. Upon arrival in New York, the ferry was staged at Caddell Dry Dock for cleaning and another round of trials and training. The ferry is scheduled to begin transporting passengers later this fall.
The three new Ollis-class 320'x70'x21'6" double-ended ferries are from a design by Elliott Bay Design Group, Seattle. Each 4,500-passenger ferry features four Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) 12-710 EPA Tier 4 marine propulsion engines, with two engines powering one Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining gear, and one 36 RV6 ECS/285-2 Voith Schneider propeller at each end of the vessel. Total installed horsepower is 9,980. Geislinger torsional couplings are installed on the EMD flywheels and provide torsional damping and driveline misalignment from the resiliently mounted EMD engines.
The ferries will each have a crew of 16.
Ship’s service power is provided by three EPA Tier 3 marine continuous duty diesel generator sets, Caterpillar C18s driving 480-V, 60 Hz, 3-phase generators rated at 425 kW. The approximate fuel oil capacity is 30,000 gals.
Eastern secured the $257 million contract to build the three ferries through a competitive bidding process in 2017.
New York City has operated Staten Island Ferry since 1905. The ferries, which run 24/7 on a 5.2-mile route between St. George Terminal on the north shore of Staten Island and Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan, carry close to 23 million passengers annually.
The layout of the three new Ollis-class ferries is similar to the 52-year-old John F. Kennedy ferry, a favorite of commuters and tourists because of its outdoor promenade seating and extended foredecks. The Kennedy and two other boats are expected to be retired once the new ferries come into service.
Staten Islanders chose to honor one of their own in naming the new ferry. Army Staff Sgt. Ollis was a Staten Island native who was killed by a suicide bomber at age 24 while on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.