Steiner Shipyard, Bayou La Batre, Ala., is scheduled to set sail from Bayou La Batre on Thursday to deliver the new steel-hulled 104'x28'x11', passenger/vehicle ferry Charles Norman Shay to the Maine Department of Transportation in Portland. The journey is expected to take 10 days.

“Weve been working with the Coast Guard to get some last-minute details covered,” said Gregory Marshal Jr., Steiner’s project manager/purchasing assistant. “The vessel plans did change from a Thursday, May 23rd departure to a Thursday, May 30th departure while awaiting the stability letter. Currently waiting on the Coast Guard to give us the go-ahead on picking up one of the Department of Transportation’s employees somewhere in Maine.”

Designed by Gilbert Associates, Braintree, Mass., with a 7' draft, the new 149-passenger ferry will run between Rockland, Maine, and Matinicus Island. In addition to its passengers, the boat has room for a single tractor trailer and four small, light trucks or eight cars or light trucks and no tractor trailer.

Main propulsion comes from twin Caterpillar C18 diesel engines hooked up to Sound 4-bladed 52" diameter wheels through Twin Disc MGX-516 close-coupled vertical offset gears with 4.04:1reduction ratios. The propulsion package gives the Charles Norman Shay a running speed of 13 knots.

For additional maneuverability, the ferry is fitted with a Veth VT-50 64-kW tunnel bow thruster.

Twin Disc supplied the ec6000 controls, EMI the steering system, and Simrad the electronics suite. Ship’s service power is the responsibility of two Caterpillar 99-kW gensets.

Capacities include 3,200 gals., fuel oil; 1,900 gals. potable water; and 300 gals. lube oil.

The Coast Guard classification is Subchapter T.


The WorkBoat staff toured the Charles Norman Shay at Steiner Shipyard, located in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, this past fall. This visit provided insights into the vessel's construction and features, highlighting Steiner Shipyard's capabilities and expertise in shipbuilding. Doug Stewart Photo.



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.

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