On July 28, St. Johns Ship Building (SJSB) launched a 190' landing craft vessel, the Grand Master II, in front of a crowd of  more than 300 people.

The vessel, for Bahamas Ferries, was designed for cargo transport among the Bahamian islands. With its forward, hydraulic bow ramp and 6,400 sq. ft. of cargo space, the boat is outfitted for Caribbean transport.

Main propulsion comes from twin 700-hp Cummings QSK19 diesel engines connected to Schottel rudder propellers. Grand Master II also features a 22" electric Westmar bowthruster for added maneuverability. Ship’s service power comes from two 99-kW John Deere generators.

A raised two-story deckhouse on the aft of the vessel allows for unimpeded cargo room from the bow to stern. The first tier of the deckhouse supports the crew quarters, galley, and passenger lounge. The second tier contains the pilothouse and captain’s quarters.

This is the first of three landing crafts St Johns Ship Building plans on delivering to Caribbean transportation groups in the near future. SJSB relies on expertise and dedication of their skilled craft divisions to produce these high caliber ships. The vessel starts out as sheets of steel and ends as a magnificent display of craftsmanship.

Other projects nearing conclusion at SJSB are the series of eight 100' tugs for Vane Brothers, a 130' barge, a house barge, and another 190' landing craft.