Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc., Panama City, Fla., has completed the second of three 4,500-passenger Ollis-class ferries for the City of New York Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division.

The 320'x70' Sandy Ground, Hull 220, departed Eastern’s Port St. Joe, Fla., shipyard passenger ready with its USCG Certificate of Inspection and ABS class certificate. 

Dann Ocean Towing’s Sarah Dann is towing the ferry from Eastern’s shipyard in Port St. Joe to New York City. The trip will take approximately 14 days. Upon arrival in New York, the ferry will be staged at Caddell Dry Dock for cleaning and another round of trials and training. It is scheduled to begin transporting passengers in 2022. The third ferry, Dorothy Day, is scheduled to be delivered in 2022. 

The first ferry, Michael H. Ollis, was named the 2021 Boat of the Year at the International WorkBoat Show last week. The Michael H. Ollis departed ESG’s Port St. Joe facility in early August fully certified and passenger ready.

“I am pleased to announce the newest Staten Island Ferry Sandy Ground is being delivered to New York City. This vessel honors our nation’s African-American heritage and will tell the story of the landmark Sandy Ground community,” said Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group. “These incredible vessels are receiving international recognition for their superior design and capabilities. We thank our partners for their dedication and exceptional quality in the production of these ferries.” 

ESG is providing regulatory and detailed production engineering, vessel construction, and delivery for the three new Ollis-class ferries. The ferries have been constructed in ESG’s Allanton, Fla., yard. ESG’s newest facility in Port St. Joe handled the outfitting, testing and trials.

The new ferries are larger, reflect modern technology, and will operate more safely in extreme weather conditions. They feature popular design elements of past Staten Island Ferries and new customer-service amenities such as more comfortable seating and phone-charging outlets and an oval upper-deck promenade that will for the first time serve as an outdoor “walking track” for ferry riders.  They have the latest in marine technology for energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. There are design features on the vessels that are part of the emergency response plan with the city. Lessons from 9/11 were built into this fleet and they can be connected to the FDNY fireboats, also built by Eastern Shipbuilding, to support evacuations and rescue.

The three Ollis-class double ended 4,500-passenger ferries are from a design provided by Elliott Bay Design Group, with each ferry featuring four EMD L12ME23B @ 750 rpm EPA Tier 4 marine propulsion engines producing 9,980 hp, 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. Power generation is provided by three EPA Tier 3 marine continuous duty diesel generator sets — Caterpillar C18 driving 480 V, 60 Hz, 3-phase generators rated at 425 kW at 0.8 P.F. @ 1,800 rpm.

ESG Hull #/Names:





Length Overall 320'

Length on Design Load Waterline 308'-3 1/2"

Beam, Molded 70'

Beam over Guards 70'-3"

Depth at Main Deck at Side 21'-6”

Design Draft 13’

Installed Horsepower 9,980 HP

Fuel Oil Capacity (95%, approximate) 30,000 gal

Minimum Seating Capacity 2,551

Maximum Passenger Capacity 4,500

Crew 16

Regulatory ABS A1, Ferry Service, River Service, AMS Notation. USCG Subchapter H Passenger Vessel

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