EBDG to design new Beaver Island Ferry

Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), Seattle, WA, recently won a contract to design a new 150 ft. steel ferry for the Beaver Island Transportation Authority.

The 150-passenger, 24-vehicle ferry will be operated by the Beaver Island Boat Company and will replace the 1962-built Beaver Islander serving the small Island in Northern Lake Michigan (see thumbnail image). The new ferry will be powered by two geared diesel engines of approximately 1,500 horsepower each with fixed pitch propellers.

The Beaver Islander was built in 1962 by Sturgeon Bay Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. out of Sturgeon Bay, WI, and purchased new by Beaver Island Boat Company. It is 95 feet in length, 27 feet wide, draws 8 feet with a top speed of 13.5 knots and maximum capacity 172 passengers and 10 vehicles.

emeraldisleBeaver Island Boat Co. also operates the Emerald Isle (at right), which was designed by Timothy Graul Marine Design in Sturgeon Bay, WI, and was built in East Boothbay, ME, by Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc. It is 130 feet in length, 39 feet wide, and draws 8.5 feet with a top speed of 14.5 knots and maximum capacity of 294 passengers with capability for a semi-truck. This vessel has a stair-lift and first deck can be accessed in a wheelchair.  It has an excess  of 150 indoor/covered seats, five restrooms, fixed stabilizers, power outlets and food/refreshment vending machines.

THE NEW FERRY
“We are very lucky to have Elliott Bay on this project.  We are trying to go as green as possible with our new design by increasing fuel efficiency with a narrower beam and newer engines,” said Barbara Schwartzfisher, Executive Director of the Beaver Island Transportation Authority.

The vessel will have a design speed of 13.5 knots, a beam of 42 ft. and a hull depth of 15 ft. 

In addition to reducing the service’s environmental footprint, the transportation authority is looking to design a better experience for passengers on the 2.5 hour crossing by offering Wi-Fi and making the boat quieter and more comfortable.  The design will meet accessibility guidelines for passenger vessels and feature an enclosed car deck arranged to handle loose cargo such as dry goods, groceries, and other necessities for daily life on the island.

“We are very pleased to be working with the Beaver Island Authority and the Beaver Island Boat Company on this project,” said John Waterhouse, Project Manager and Chief Concept Engineer at EBDG.  "We recognize that for island communities, ferry boats are essential lifelines and a critical part of both daily life and the tourism trade.”

February 13, 2012