Boatbuilder Metal Shark has been awarded a contract to build a new vehicle ferry for Fire Island Ferries.

Construction of the new Fire Island Maid began recently at Metal Shark’s Bayou La Batre, Ala., shipyard. Designed by Elliott Bay Design Group, the 70'x23' ferry features a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. With its hydraulically operated bow ramp and reinforced decks designed to support fully loaded concrete trucks and general cargo, the new ferry will provide transport between Bay Shore, N.Y., on Long Island's Great South Bay, and various points across the bay on Fire Island.

“This exciting project allows our team to demonstrate our ability to efficiently meet project deadlines, with a construction timeline set at six months from start to delivery,” Doug Barrow, vice president of Metal Shark Alabama, said in a statement announcing the new contract. “Vessel construction and outfitting will occur in our assembly building, under cover, serviced by overhead cranes, and not exposed to the elements. We look forward to working with Fire Island Ferries on a successful build, providing a vessel that will serve their needs for years to come.”

The new ferry will be powered by twin Cummins QSL9 Tier 3 marine engines with ZF Marine CruiseCommand control system and transmissions. Electrical power shall be provided by a Cummins Onan MDK generator.

“This is the second vehicle ferry built by Metal Shark for the communities of Fire Island, following the 70' vessel built at our Franklin, La., shipyard for Beachcomber Freight (Sayville Ferry) in 2018,” said Carl Wegener, Metal Shark’s vice president of commercial sales. “We are pleased that Northeast operators and Passenger Vessel Association members continue to see the value and quality that a Metal Shark-built vessel brings to their business models.”

John Waterhouse of Elliott Bay Design Group, said his company was “pleased to have been selected for the design of this workboat. The folks at Fire Island have been terrific to work with and we look forward to seeing Metal Shark make the magic happen.” 

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