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July 23, 2002

U.S. fast ferry design
Bristol Harbor Group member Bristol Harbor Marine Design (BHMD), Bristol Harbor, R.I. has completed the advanced concept phase of a new fast ferry design that is targeted for construction by small to medium size U.S. shipyards.

The 125-foot (38-meter) aluminum vessel will have a passenger capacity in excess of 300. It will be powered by twin diesel engines coupled to water jets, with a design speed greater than 30 knots. The vessel will be designed from the keel up to U.S. Coast Guard Sub-Chapter K regulations for medium to large size passenger vessels.

Additional design features will make use of new advances in technology for production, as well as for ship propulsion, control and navigation.

The BHMD design is unique in that it will be an all U.S. design/build effort originated by a U.S. naval architecture and marine engineering firm. Similar fast ferries built domestically have utilized designs from Australia and the United Kingdom.

Total annual domestic fast ferry construction is estimated to reach $60 million per year over the next five years. The intent of the BHMD project is to win the design contracts for a substantial portion of this market nation-wide, and to work closely with local shipbuilders and supporting firms to bring this work to the northeast.

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