SEPTEMBER 21, 2014 — Alaska Governor Sean Parnell announced Saturday that the State of Alaska and Vigor Industrial have reached a final agreement to construct two Alaska Class Ferries at the Vigor Alaska shipyard in Ketchikan.
The vessels will be the first Alaska Marine Highway System ferries built in Alaska. Governor The announcement was made at a community event held by Vigor Alaska at the Ketchikan Shipyard.
Employing the Construction Manager General Contractor (CMGC) process, the State worked with Vigor Industrial to negotiate a guaranteed maximum price to construct both vessels. The construction contract and costs to build both ferries in Ketchikan will be at the $120 million budgeted amount.
According to a press release issued by Vigor, the two day ferries will cost $101 million to construct, which is a reduction in the original price.
The ferries will be 280 feet long, seat up to 300 passengers and carry 53 standard vehicles. Each ferry will feature bow and stern doors for quicker loading and unloading, fully enclosed car decks, and controllable pitch propellers to maximize maneuverability and efficiency. A modified hull design will greatly improve traveler comfort during rough weather.
Vigor says the passenger capacity will be 450, with interior seating for 300, with a vehicle capacity of 48 to 60 plus. The cruising speed will be 18 knots, with a sprint speed of 20 knots.
The vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2018.
Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), Seattle, WA, was responsible for design development of the vessels, working closely with AMHS and Vigor under the terms of the CMGC contract. "EBDG is pleased to have been part of a project where the objectives are aligned between the designer, owner, and shipyard," says John Waterhouse, Chief Concept Engineer at EBDG. "We feel this will result in a superior vessel for the state of Alaska and a smooth construction process."
"These vessels will be the largest ships ever built in Alaska," Governor Parnell said. "Building these ferries in state will be a major boost for Alaska's economy. This has been our intent during the entire process and will help create hundreds of new year-round jobs at the Ketchikan shipyard, while helping Ketchikan develop a highly capable workforce, not only for the growing marine economy of Southeast Alaska, but with skills that can translate into work across the state."
Both of the new vessels will be day boats to serve the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) Lynn Canal route between Juneau, Haines and Skagway.