OCTOBER 20, 2016 — The 600 passenger Incat Crowther designed catamaran passenger ferry on order at Gulf Craft LLC's Franklin, LA, shipyard for New York ferry operator Seastreak LLC (see earlier story) will have Rolls-Royce power and propulsion.

In addition, three existing Seastreak vessels (Highlands, New York and New Jersey) will be upgraded and repowered with Rolls-Royce equipment over the next several years.

When delivered, the new cat will be the highest passenger capacity USCG K-class high-speed ferry in the United States. It will carry up to 600 passengers between Monmouth County, NJ, and Wall Street in less than 40 minutes at a top speed of 35 knots.

Power will come from four high-speed MTU diesel engines type 12V 4000 M64 from Rolls-Royce. The engines will be EPA Tier III compliant and offer the lowest emissions on the market. The four engines will drive four Rolls-Royce Kamewa 63S4 waterjets, providing both reliability and redundancy.

This new vessel, together with improvements to the three existing Seastreak-class vessels, will require the investment of more than $24 million dollars.

Seastreak's President, James A. Barker, said: "These investments reflect our continuing commitment to our customers, and ensures that they will enjoy a modern, reliable and comfortable ferry fleet for many years to come."

Tor-Gunnar Hovig, Rolls-Royce, Senior Vice President Offshore & Merchant Solutions North America, said: "The combination of Rolls-Royce Kamewa waterjets and MTU high-speed diesel engines will help Seastreak transport thousands of customers every day economically, reliably and sustainably. We're delighted that Seastreak has not only selected Rolls-Royce technology for their newest vessel but also to repower three of their existing fleet."

The new ferry will include the latest in luxury seating, panoramic windows,interior design featuring all-LED lighting, flat screen TVs viewable from any seat, multiple dedicated charging stations, Wi-Fi, and high-tech HVAC systems.

The passenger seating arrangement will consist of 520 interior seats with an additional 206 exterior seats located on the second and third deck.

To be known as the Commodore class, it is expected to be delivered in 2017.

The upgrade and repower of three existing Seastreak class vessels will start with the Seastreak New York this winter. Seastreak plans to upgrade and repower one vessel per year each winter.

All three vessels will be refitted with modern Tier 3 MTU 16V 4000 M64 engines driving Rolls-Royce waterjets.

Rolls-Royce says the new engine and jet configuration will not only be cleaner burning, and better for the environment, but will also remove approximately 20 tons of weight, helping greatly with speed, and efficiency.

The upgrades will also involve new custom seating, windows, and carpeting, as well as other mechanical upgrades.

Published in Ferries

MARCH 24, 2014—Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) is urging the federal government to provide $267 million in funding for a New York City Department of Transportation plan to build three new 4,500-passenger ferries, as well as upgrade existing ferry terminals in Staten Island and Manhattan to better withstand flooding and add barge-based ferry landings that can be moved around the city in cases of emergency.

The NYCDOT is expected to apply for the grant next week from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Sandy Resilience Program, as part of the third portion of $3 billion in disaster funding from the Sandy Relief Bill. The $267 million represents about 75% of the total $356 million cost of the project.

“Superstorm Sandy’s immense wrath and critical damage underscored the need for modern, updated and more resilient infrastructure in New York City,” says Senator Schumer.  “Ferries are a key piece of resilient infrastructure because, with the right landing equipment, they can begin running immediately after a storm.”

KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS OF NEW FERRIES

It is estimated that the new 4,500-passenger ferries will cost a total of about $309 million to build. Each will be fitted with four Voith Schneider cycloidal propellers, providing exceptional maneuverability. Additionally, the double-ended ferries will also be fitted with side loading doors, allowing for more flexible passenger embarking/disembarking scenarios in the event of an evacuation or emergency. For example, the new ferries would have greater capacities than small privately owned passenger-only ferries typically used at ferry landings in Brooklyn or Queens that connect to rail transit services.

NYCDOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, says, "Resilient, dependable and adaptable waterway infrastructure will be a game changer in any future storm response and an essential link when our subway, road, tunnel and bridge networks are compromised.”  

In addition, the new boats are also expected to provide improved fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Furthermore, the new ferries would allow the NYCDOT to retire some of the older boats in its nine-vessel fleet. Among them are the 49-year-old, 3,500-passenger John F. Kennedy and two 33-year-old, 6,000-passenger Barberi Class ferries, the Andrew J. Barberi and the Samuel I. Newhouse.

One of the largest ferry systems in the U.S., the Staten Island Ferry carries 22 million passengers annually between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan.

Besides the new ferries, the project would also allow for flood protection upgrades at the St. George Terminal on Staten Island and the Whitehall Terminal in lower Manhattan. The terminals were hard hit during Super Storm Sandy. The upgrades are estimated to cost $7.5 million.

Lastly, as much as $40 million in funding will be used to enhance ferry landings at four locations to accommodate the new ferries and hardened them against damage from future storms and the effects of a sea level rise. Among the locations are Hunters Point in Queens and E. 34th Street in Manhattan and two others, at least one of which would likely be in Brooklyn. There will be two “flex barges,” capable of being deployed to multiple locations, in addition to the four modified landings.

Published in Ferries

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