Derecktor Shipyards/Robert E. Derecktor Inc., Mamaroneck, N.Y., is building a 62'x21' aluminum, hybrid-powered organic market delivery vessel (OMDV) for Harbor Harvest, Norwalk, Conn. The new boat is designed to provide an alternative transportation platform for organic food shipping.

The new catamaran workboat, Harbor Connect, will be powered by a BAE Systems HybriDrive propulsion package utilizing lithium batteries and Cummins QSB6.7 engines connected to 26" wheels to power the boat along coastal areas at a 15-knot running speed.

The new OMDV will have a draft of less than 5' and be Derecktor’s third Hybrid Series vessel. Its cargo carrying abilities will be configured to carry 9,000 lbs. of protected refrigerated cargo and 3,000 lbs. of deck cargo, giving the Harbor Connect a total of 12,000 lbs. of palletized cargo. The OMDV will be able to travel emission free on its lithium battery component for about three hours without recharging.

In an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint, Derecktor has teamed up with Harbor Harvest to create an eco-friendly marine coastal network that will integrate a retail space along with the support of the organic farm market in the Connecticut/Long Island Gold Coast and Long Island Sound area. The trade routes have already been tested to confirm the fuel efficiency and battery life, and the vessel will be able to be charged at shore side facilities along its route. Trade routes have been determined based on farm locations and will support a wide range of coastal area. The idea of this project is to move freight back onto the water, off congested roadways, and provide one of the most environmentally sustainable farm-to-market systems that is in operation today.

Once the boat is delivered in the spring of 2018, Harbor Connect will carry a three-person crew.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.