Incat Crowther has partnered with Gulf Craft LLC, Franklin, La., to design and build a new Subchapter K 104'3"x28'x9'10" aluminum passenger ferry for the U.S Virgin Islands. 

Construction of the new ferry began in November. The passenger vessel will service the busy tourist and commuter route between Red Hook on the island of St. Thomas, and Cruz Bay on the island of St. John. Currently, two other Incat Crowther-designed 89.6' vessels service this route.

The new ferry will be built with accessibility and an elevated customer experience in mind. It will be capable of transporting up to 300 passengers at speeds of up to 28 knots. The vessel will also be fitted with the latest EPA Tier 4 diesel engine emission control technologies.

The air-conditioned main cabin provides seating for up to 202 passengers, including five dedicated wheelchair accessible spaces. Two ADA-compliant bathrooms and a fully enclosed luggage room are also provided on the main deck level, along with integrated side boarding ramps for a safe and efficient boarding experience.

The vessel’s upper deck will transport up to 100 passengers in outdoor seating, while the vessel’s wheelhouse provides the captain with an excellent line of sight and 360° visibility. Wing helm stations are also provided for the captain to ensure safe docking of the vessel.

The commissioning of the new ferry adds to Incat Crowther’s growing footprint in the Caribbean.

“Incat Crowther has a proven track record of designing and delivering tailored passenger ferries for operators throughout the Caribbean,” Incat Crowther USA managing director Grant Pecoraro said in a statement. “Our team of naval architects understand that no two routes are the same. Our digital shipbuilding process enables us to carefully focus on specific operational requirements to ensure our designs are tailored specifically for local conditions, existing dockside infrastructure, and with the operator and its customers in mind.” 

Main propulsion will come from twin Caterpillar C32 ACERT diesel engines, producing 1,199 hp each. The mains will connect to two fixed pitch props.

“It is evident that the two existing Incat Crowther ferries which have been successfully servicing this route for over a decade provided confidence to the U.S Virgin Island government to again select an Incat Crowther vessel to service the local community in the future,” said Pecoraro.

Ship’s service power will come from two 65 kW-generators.

Tankage will include 2,000 gals. fuel, 500 gals. fresh water, and 400 gals. urea for Tier 4 compliancy.

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.