Ferry with vintage look has modern propulsion and maneuvering technology

JULY 11, 2012 — The Mary Musgrove, a 67 ft T-Class passenger ferry designed by DeJong and Lebet, is currently being built by Custom Steel Boats, Inc., Merritt, Ga., for The Chatham Area Transit Authority in Savannah, Georgia. It is scheduled to be delivered mid-September 2012.

Though similar in appearance to the steam driven riverboats of a century, beneath the vintage exterior the all steel ferry has lots of modern technology.

The Mary Musgrove is powered by two John Deere 8.1 liter 6081 AFM75 M1 engines and propelled by two Schottel Z-Drives. The vessel will have a single 46 kW John Deere generator. The engines, generator and four 4-ton Cruisairs will be cooled by Fernstrum Keelcoolers.

The ferry will have a Wesmar model V2-18-inch all stainless steel dual prop, counter rotating bow thruster for docking and positioning. The system will be powered by Wesmar hydraulics.

The ferry will carry up to 150 passengers from downtown Savannah to the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island.

Although less than a quarter mile, the crossing presents a strong current amid a mix of tour boats, ferries, tugs and ocean-going vessels.The Wesmar thrusters will be used to maneuver in crowded waters and to safely snug up close to the docks and hold tight, to load and unload passengers.

Naval architect Andy Lebet says "We've specified 20 to 30 Wesmar's mostly because that is what the boat yards are asking for, and we are absolutely satisfied with them. The dual prop design with added thrust from counter rotation fits into a smaller tube without compromising the thrust and we like that for the vessels we design."

Savannah-Ferry