Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation has delivered a second high-speed passenger ferry to Rhode Island Fast Ferry Inc., Quonset Point, R.I. The ferry will operate between Quonset Point and Martha’s Vineyard, alongside Ava Pearl, the operator’s first high-speed catamaran built by Somerset, Mass.-based Gladding-Hearn in 2012.

Designed by Incat Crowther, the new 320-passenger, all-aluminum catamaran Julia Leigh measures 113.5'x32.4' and draws 6'. Entrance into the boat is through the port and starboard side doors. With seating for 290 passengers on three decks, the Julia Leigh has more than twice the passenger capacity than the Ava Pearl. The seating arrangement reflects a blend of both interior and exterior comfort during the summer season. Equipped throughout with Beurteaux seats and tables, the main cabin has generous seating for 142 passengers, a snack bar and three heads. A 180,000-Btu HVAC system will heat and cool the main cabin and the wheelhouse on the second deck. The second deck features partially-protected outdoor seating for 130 passengers. The open third deck, with seating for 18 passengers, has ample standing room for an additional 42 passengers.

Main propulsion comes from twin MTU 12V4000M64 diesel engines, each delivering 1,875 hp at 1,800 rpm. The engines, from Stewart & Stevenson Power Products, Marlboro, Mass., turn a pair of 5-bladed Brunton Ni-Br-Al propellers through ZF 5055 gearboxes with 2.5:1 reverse reduction ratios. Electricity is supplied by a pair of 55-kW RA Mitchell generators. Top speed is 29 knots.

The vessel features Incat Crowther’s “S” bow hulls, which, according to the builder, have proved to provide excellent seakeeping, directional stability and a high tolerance to shifts in trim and displacement. Hydraulic steering is available at three control stations in the wheelhouse. The center-line station has a wheel and jog lever and the port and starboard control stations have jog levers.The ferry is equipped with a Niaid Dynamics hydraulic trim-tab motion-control system. Controls are by ZF.

The electronics suite includes Furuno UHD radar 6' open array, GP330B GPS WAAS sensor and FA 170 AIS. In addition, there are Standard Horizon GX 6000 VHF radios, a Richie compass, Simrad AP-70 Mk II autopilot, and Airmar N2K depth sounder. There is also an eight camera, interior/exterior CCTV system.

Capacities include 2,100 gals. of fuel, 400 gals. of water and a crew of four and licensed captain. Space for luggage storage is on the fore and aft decks. The vessel is equipped with an interior and exterior public address system and a video entertainment system in the main cabin.

The new ferry, which was delivered June 16, is USCG certified Lakes, Bays and Sounds, Limited Coast Wise.

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.