Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (ESG) successfully launched the ferry Long Island (ESG Hull 228) at its Allanton Shipyard in Panama City, Fla., last Friday.

The new passenger and auto ferry is destined to operate between Bridgeport, Conn., and Port Jefferson, N.Y., traversing the Long Island Sound. The vessel was christened by Rosemary McAllister, director of strategy, and attended by representatives from vessel owners Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co., a subsidiary of McAllister Towing.

"This launch is a testament to the dedication and expertise of our team at Eastern Shipbuilding Group," Joey D’Isernia, CEO and chairman of ESG, said during launching ceremonies. "We are honored to partner with our friends at McAllister Towing and contribute to enhancing the transportation infrastructure for the residents and tourists of Long Island. This ferry will not only serve as a vital link between communities but also exemplify our commitment to delivering excellence to our valued customers."

The 302' ferry is designed to accommodate both vehicles and passengers and is designed with several enhancements, including Tier IV main engines, increased crew capacity, and an upgraded furniture package. Scheduled for delivery later this year, the vessel will join a fleet that includes two other Eastern-built ferries: the P.T. Barnum (1999) and the Grand Republic (2003). McAllister Towing has been a longstanding partner with ESG, having commissioned more than a dozen vessels from the shipbuilder.

The Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Co. provides transit across Long Island Sound for hundreds of thousands of passengers and cars every year. The addition of the ferry Long Island will upgrade and expand the service. 

“P.T. Barnum, the founder of the ferry, once said that the noblest art is that of making others happy. All of those who have worked to make the ferry service what it is today can be very proud of their role helping drivers on the I-95 and Long Island Expressway,” Buck McAllister, the president of the ferry company, said. “Eastern Shipbuilding has provided our company with over a dozen high quality vessels and transformed the maritime services we can offer. We are very thankful to Eastern Shipbuilding and the D’Isernia family for the happiness this new vessel will bring to our employees and customers for generations to come.” 

The addition of the Long Island will help ensure that a three-vessel schedule can be provided for the peak periods when demand is most critical.

The Subchapter H vessel will have the capacity for 1,000 passengers and 124 cars, or a combination of cars and up to six trucks, and will be capable of operating at 17 knots. 

The vessel was designed by Gilbert Associates, Braintree, Mass.

The ferry will be powered by twin EPA Tier 4 Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) 12 ME 23B, each producing 3,000 hp at 900 rpm and driving Reintjes WAF 3445 3.083:1 reduction gears delivering power to fixed pitch propellers. 

The ferry will also be equipped with three John Deere 6135 AFM85 diesel generators, producing 300 kw at 1,800 rpm, including two Berg MTT113 FPL bow thrusters, each driven by John Deere 6135 AFM85 diesels rated 500 hp at 2,000 rpm and coupled to Reintjes WVS 234 1.50:1 reduction gears. Steering controls are by JastramKarl Senner LLC equipped the Long Island with the reduction gearboxes and control systems for main propulsion and bow thrusters, as well as the Berg bow thrusters.




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