Gulfstream Shipbuilding, Freeport, Fla., has been awarded a contract through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a passenger/vehicle ferry to service New York and Connecticut waters. This 118'x27'x10'9" crewboat-style ferry will transport passengers, freight and vehicles in and around the waters of Eastern Long Island Sound and Gardiner’s Bay for the DHS's Plum Island Animal Disease Center.

“Gulfstream Shipbuilding is not only familiar with the Eastern Long Island Sound waters, our team has delivered three ferry vessels to North Ferry Company that operate near these waters,” said James Murray, the shipyard’s sales manager. “We are proud of our 35-plus year history of building strong aluminum crewboats for all types of conditions.”

Working with Naval Architect C. Fly Marine Services, Gulfstream and its design team have incorporated key design elements to meet and exceed the Critical Vessel Objective. The welded aluminum, monohull, diesel propelled, quad screw passenger/vehicle ferry sports a 6'6" draft.

Main propulsion will come from four Caterpillar C32 diesel engines, producing 1,300 hp at 1,800 rpm each. The Cats will be connected to 4-bladed, nibral wheels through ZF 3050A marine gears, giving the new ferry a running speed of 26 knots. For added maneuverability, the vessel will be fitted with a 75-hp Wesmar hydraulic dual prop thruster.

The hull structure is designed for strength with considerations for ice, but not overly heavy as to affect performance, maneuverability, seaworthiness, comfort and speed requirements. Paying particular attention to the beam at waterline and dead rise considerations, the hull design will provide for minimal frictional and wave-making resistance along with the center of gravity to meet the peak performance envelope and to ensure adequate speed and efficiency.

Gulfstream's hull design is similar to that of a Gulf Coast crewboat, with a diminished cargo deck overall and a narrower beam at the waterline to reduce overall resistance at semi-displacement speeds. A sharp entry and moderate dead rise will provide a comfortable ride platform within the operational envelope.

Ship’s service power will be the responsibility of twin John Deere GK4045-powered gensets, sparking 65 kW of electricity each. Other features will include ZF four-station Clear Command controls with synchronization capabilities, a Skipper Hydraulics steering system, and capacities of 9,500 gals. of fuel, 800 gals. water and 375 gals. lube oil.

The as yet named new ferry will be capable of carrying up to 148 passengers and crew and fire engines, various support vehicles and freight on its rear cargo deck.

The new ferry has an expected delivery date of April 2017 and will be certified USCG Subchapter T, under 100-gt.

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.