Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (ESG) will host a christening and launch ceremony at 3 pm ET, Friday, May 3 at its Allanton Shipyard in Panama City, Fla., for the new 302' passenger/vehicle ferry, destined for the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co., Port Jefferson, N.Y. 

The Subchapter H vessel will have 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 ferry will operate between Bridgeport, Conn., and Port Jefferson, traversing New York's Long Island Sound. Steel cutting for the vessel began in January 2023.

The vessel was designed by Gilbert Associates, Braintree, Mass., based on the P.T. Barnum (1999) and Grand Republic (2003) auto/passenger ferries that Eastern Shipbuilding previously built for McAllister Towing and Transportation Co., owners of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co. Eastern has built more than a dozen vessels for McAllister.

“We have been doing business with McAllister for more than 30 years,” Eastern CEO and Chairman Joey D’Isernia said in a statement during the initial phases of the build. “We look forward to adding another state-of-the-art auto and passenger ferry to their fleet.” 

The ferry will be powered by twin EPA Tier 4 Electro-Motive Diesel 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 Model 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 Jastram. Karl 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.

The ceremony will be attended by Joey D’Isernia, as well as representatives from Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company and McAllister Towing, along with the vessel’s captains and crew.

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