Donald L. Blount & Associates (DLBA), Chesapeake, Va., a division of Gibbs & Cox, has teamed up with Champion’s Auto Ferry, Harsens Island, Mich., for the construction of a new 84'x 31' double-ended ferry.

The Coast Guard Subchapter T design has been ruggedized for rigorous all-weather operation. Designed to fit three car lanes by integrating a lightweight deckhouse design for the local river operation, the vessel will provide an optimal platform for roll on/roll off service enhanced by Champion’s proprietary ramp design.

The vessel’s all steel construction hull has been designed to ABS SVU90M, and special care has been taken to increase structural strength for ice and high-impact side loading that could occur in operation. The large open deck has been designed to withstand the most severe vehicle loadings, allowing for the vessel to carry the heaviest land-based construction and lifting equipment.

The first vessel is designed with a twin-propulsion package of Cummins QSL9s and Twin Disc gears. The design will accommodate other propulsion packages from Caterpillar, Volvo Penta and John Deere. Provisions for a modular dry exhaust are being provided to allow for simpler engine maintenance and flexibility.