FEBRUARY 16, 2018 — The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) has sent a Notice of Intent to Award an $8.8 million contract for the construction of a new Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS) vessel to East Boothbay shipbuilder Washburn & Doughty. The company was one of five bidders – and the only Maine shipbuilder - who submitted a proposal.

"Washburn & Doughty has an excellent history and reputation of Maine craftsmanship," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "I am always pleased to see Maine taxpayer funding providing jobs to Maine workers through our investment in transportation infrastructure."

The new 154-foot vehicular and passenger ferry was designed by Braintree, MA, naval architects Gilbert Associates, Inc.

Designed to be able to serve any of the MSFS island communities other than Matinicus, it will have three main deck lanes, for a capacity of 23 cars or a mix of cars and trucks, as well as 250 passengers.

"We are thrilled to have a Maine boatyard with an impeccable history of quality as the successful bidder for the new ferry boat," said David Bernhardt, Commissioner of MaineDOT. "Washburn & Doughty built three of the ferry boats currently in operation for the Maine State Ferry Service, and we look forward to partnering with them for our first new boat in more than five years."

Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc., was founded in East Boothbay in 1977 and specializes in the construction of steel and aluminum commercial vessels, including tugboats, commercial passenger vessels, fishing boats, barges, ferries and research vessels. In 1992-1993, Washburn & Doughty built three vessels – known as the "sister ships" – that are still in service for the Maine State Ferry Service today.

"We are honored to have been selected to construct the new ferry service vessel for the Maine State Ferry Service," said Katie Doughty Maddox, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Washburn & Doughty Associates. "This contract will create jobs at our shipyard during its construction and we are proud to have our Maine workers building a vessel to serve Maine residents, businesses and visitors to our Midcoast island communities."

The Maine State Ferry Service, a division of the MaineDOT, serves the island communities of Vinalhaven, North Haven, Islesboro, Swans Island, Frenchboro and Matinicus. Maine law provides that operating expenses for the ferry service are paid one-half by residents of Maine through the Highway Fund Budget and one-half by user and other fees.

Capital costs for the ferry service – including the construction of ferry boats, maintenance and upgrade to facilities and improvements to supporting infrastructure – is fully funded through MaineDOT.

The funding for the construction of the new ferry boat to be built by Washburn & Doughty will come from a combination of Maine bond funding and other local highway fund and federal dollars.


Published in Ferries
February 15, 2018

Baleària buys three more

FEBRUARY 15, 2018 — Spanish ferry operator Baleària has invested neary EUR 75 million (about $94 million) to purchase three existing ships to reinforce its fleet.

The vessels are the ferries Nápoles and Sicilia, bought from Stena, and the fast ferry Jonathan Swift, bought from Irish Ferries. Following these two transactions, Baleària now owns a total of 24 out of the 25 vessels that it operates.

The ferries Nápoles and Sicilia, which are sister ships, were chartered in 2015 by the company and are being used for the València-Eivissa-Palma and Barcelona-Eivissa routes, respectively.

Each measuring 186 meters long, the vessels have a service speed of 23 knots and were delivered by Italian shipbuilder Cantieri Navale Visentini in 2002. They each have a capacity for 950 passenger and 2,000 linear meters of cargo and can sail at a speed of 23 knots.

The passenger services and features available on the Nápoles and the Sicilia are some of the most highly-rated ships by customers in Baleària's most recent satisfaction surveys, scoring 8.3 out of 10.

The Jonathan Swift is an 86 m high speed catamaran delivered by Austal in 1999. With a speed of 38 knots, it can carry 800 passengers and 200 vehicles and, had been operating in the Irish Sea connecting Dublin and Holyhead..

Baleària, which is in the middle of a fleet renewal process, has two LNG fueled ferries on order at Cantiere Navale Visentini and has ordered four eco-fast ferries on order at Spain's Gondan shipyard, the first of which began operating last December.

Published in Ferries



  NOVEMBER 2018 - Venue to be announced 


Published in Conferences

NOVEMBER 6, 2017 — Spanish shipbuilder Gondan has launched the first of four GRP-hulled eco fast ferries at its Figueras, Asturias, shipyard. The 28 m x 9 m vessels are being built for ferry operator Baleària and will carry 350 passengers at speeds up to 28 knots.

The catamarans are designed with an innovative wave piercing bow that displaces water towards the side tunnels in order to maintain speed and reduce wave slamming.

The many eco friendly features include photovoltaic solar panels that will supply energy for on-board services on board, while the hull will be made of polyester reinforced with fiberglass, which does not require the application of paint.

Each will have twin state-of-the-art 1,450 hp diesels that minimize emissions of polluting gases.

Baleària says that with the new ferries it will "make a qualitative leap" in its transport services between Eivissa and Formentera in the Balearic Islands, "combining reliability, comfort and speed with respect for the planet."

The vessels will have 270 indoor and 80 upper deck outdoor seats and will make the journey in just 30 minutes.

To be names Eco AQUA, Eco TERRA, Eco AIRE and Eco LUX, the ferries will be delivered between the end of this year and the middle of next.


Published in Ferries

NOVEMBER 6, 2017 —The Government of Ontario and Damen Shipyards Group have signed a contract for the design, build and delivery for two ferries to operate in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.

The ferries will be a 68 m Damen Road Ferry 6819 and a 98 m Damen Road Ferry 9819. Although one vessel is 30 m longer than the other they will share many design features and equipment specifications. Both will also be hybrid-ready, enabling them to be fitted with batteries when required.

Both vessels are being designed in-house by Damen and will be fully customized for the local infrastructure.

The ferries will be based in Kingston and Loyalist Township, Ontario, at the northeastern end of Lake Ontario. They will be significantly larger than the existing vessels on the routes that they will serve and will create more economic benefits - helping more people, vehicles and goods travel to and from the islands.

The larger of the two new ferries will serve the nearby Wolfe Island while the smaller will serve Amherst Island, just a few kilometers to the west.

The ferries are expected to make crossings faster for the one million passengers and 500,000 vehicles which travel annually between Wolfe Island and Kingston, and the 270,000 passengers and 130,000 vehicles which travel to and from Amherst Island each year.

"We are very happy and very proud to have this opportunity to further expand Ontario's fleet of ferries," said Damen Sales Manager Leo Postma following the signing ceremony: . A rigorous tender process is always a test of how competitive we are and we are very pleased with the result. This new contract is a continuation of successful sales into Canada by Damen and the two new ships will take the number of Damen ferries operating in the country up to eight, along with other Damen workboats. More are also currently under construction. As a result of orders such as these, Damen Shipyards Galati is becoming an international center of excellence for the production of ferries."

The ferries are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019 (Amherst) and at the end of 2020 (Wolfe).

Published in Ferries

OCTOBER 9, 2017 — Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) has booked a contract, valued at EUR 126 million (about $148 million), to design and build two 117m high-speed vehicle passenger trimaran ferries for long time customer Fred Olsen S.A. of the Canary Islands, Spain.

The aluminum trimarans, designed by Austal Australia, will be the second and third trimarans to be delivered to Fred Olsen S.A. which already operates the world's first and largest trimaran vehicle passenger ferry, the 127m Benchijigua Express – designed and built by Austal in 2005.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton thanked Fred Olsen S.A. and the Olsen family for the company's continued partnership and investment in Austal's innovative trimaran technology and shipbuilding expertise.

"It is truly exciting to announce this major shipbuilding contract with Fred Olsen, who had the courage and foresight to work with Austal's advanced trimaran technology in developing the Benchijigua Express in 2005," Singleton said.

"The Benchijigua Express has become an industry benchmark for blue-water commercial ferry operations, exceeding expectations for performance, speed and customer experience in the Canary Islands."

Austal Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ben Marland added, "This is a watershed contract for our next generation trimaran design that will deliver new levels of seakeeping, passenger comfort and efficiency, and proves the trimaran is the right tool for the job in the challenging sea conditions of the Atlantic. It is a game-changer in the market."

The two new trimarans will each be capable of transporting over 1,100 passengers and up to 276 cars at speeds of up to 38 knots, with both commencing construction in 2018.

The vessels are due for delivery in 29 and 36 months, respectively. The build shipyard will be announced separately.

Published in Ferries

OCTOBER 9, 2017 — Hyen, Norway, based Brødrene Aa reports that it has signed a new contract for three additional high speed carbon fiber catamaran ferries for the Chinese market. The customer, Zhongshan-Hong Kong Passenger Shipping Coop Co., Ltd (ZS), China will be operating the ferries between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China.

Two of the vessels in the contract will be 42 meters in length with a capacity of 300 passengers and will have maximum operating speed of 40 knots. The third vessel will also be 42 meters long, but with a capacity for 230 passengers and a max operating speed of 37 knots.

Construction of the vessels will begin at the shipyard in Hyen in November 2017 and all will be completed and delivered to Hong Kong by June 2019.

"This contract represents an important milestone in our efforts to penetrate the Chinese market," said CEO Tor Øyvin Aa.

In 2015 Chinese Chu Kong Shipping made an equity investment in Brødrene Aa. In this partnership one objective was to establish a joint composite manufacturing facility in China as well as providing market opportunities for completed vessel from Brødrene Aa's yard in Norway.

Composite technology has long been the construction material of choice for Brødrene Aa and the company is today recognized as a world leader for fuel efficient low emission carbon fiber ferries. It launched its first carbon fiber ferry in 2002.

"With vessels operating long hours at speeds of 40 knots you really capitalize on the benefits of carbon fiber constructions. Lighter vessels render lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. This contract will allow us to demonstrate the benefits our vessels bring to the markets in China and other Asian markets as well," says Tor Øyvin Aa.


Published in Ferries

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 — Rolls-Royce is to deliver its first MTU EPA Tier 4-compliant propulsion systems to San Francisco Bay ferry operator WETA (Water Emergency Transportation Authority) for installation in three 44 m catamaran ferries on order at Anacortes, WA, shipbuilder Dakota Creek Industries.

The first of the three high-speed ferries is expected to enter service on the San Francisco Bay in late 2018. The San Francisco Bay is subject to special environmental protection.

"Our goal is to operate a ferry service that is sustainable, cost-efficient and eco-friendly," said Nina Rannells, WETA Executive Director. "The MTU Tier 4 engines will play a critical role in WETA's expansion of sustainable and reliable ferry service on the San Francisco Bay."

MTU is to supply in total six 16V 4000 units, six MTU-built SCR systems and six ZF gearboxes for the three vessels, which will also be equipped with MTU BlueVision ship automation. Each engine will deliver 2,560 kW/ 3,435 bhp at 1,800 rpm), enabling the catamarans to reach speeds up to 34 knots.

The EPA Tier 4 emissions standard which came into force in the on January 1, 2016 demands substantially lower nitrous oxide, particulate and hydrocarbon emissions compared with the previous emissions stage.

"The system solution that MTU offers satisfies all our criteria with respect to emissions, space requirement and performance," said Rannells.

The MTU - San Francisco Bay Area ferry partnership goes back to 1997 and its development was strongly supported by the MTU distributor Pacific Power Group.

WETA now operates over thirty MTU engines – Series 2000 or 4000 – in its passenger-only ferries.

Knut Müller, head of marine and governmental business at MTU said: "We are immensely proud that WETA has selected our Tier 4 engines. WETA has always sought drive technology of the highest order in terms of innovation and ecological soundness and that has constantly challenged us to keep on developing."

WETA's current ferry fleet comprises14 high-speed catamarans that provide service via nine terminals between the cities of Vallejo, San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland and South San Francisco. Since 2012, passenger numbers have grown by 78% and now reach the 2.7 million mark. The ferries are deployed to relieve the traffic on Bay Area bridges.

"We are experiencing unprecedented growth in ferry ridership," said Rannells. "As our Bay Area population expands and traffic congestion continues to worsen, more and more people are looking for a convenient and enjoyable means of transportation, and they're turning to ferries."

In 2016, WETA adopted a Strategic Plan that outlines a vision for 44 vessels, 16 terminals and a 740% increase in peak capacity by 2035.


Published in Ferries

SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 — Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., Panama City, FL, recently hosted a steel cutting ceremony with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division

The ceremony marked the start of construction of the first of three new 320 ft Ollis Class ferries and took place in Eastern's steel processing and prefabrication building at its Allanton facility in Panama City. This indoor facility supports both of Eastern's new construction shipyards with state of the art numerically controlled equipment, and a highly skilled workforce.

Attending the ceremony from Staten Island Ferry Division was John Collins, Director of Ferry Engineering and Bill Tomalonis, Vessel Construction Manager SIF Division. Eastern's CEO, Brian D'Isernia, and President, Joey D'Isernia ,greeted the attendees. Eastern's project managers for construction, outfitting, and delivery of the ferries are Kenneth Winpigler, Joe Stark, and Brian D'Isernia Jr.

Project engineering staff from the firms of Elliott Bay Design Group, which undertook preliminary design of the ferry, and Glosten Associates were also in attendance at the steel cutting.

Onsite owners' representation for the duration of the project will be managed by Glosten Associates

Eastern has selected Guido Perla & Associates to produce the detailed design work while Eastern's Vice President of Engineering Fernando Malabet and Naval Architect Kim Brooks are overseeing the design and engineering efforts for the project.

The three Ollis Class double-ended 4500 passenger ferries are based on a preliminary design provided by Elliot Bay Design Group, with each ferry featuring four Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) 12-710 Tier 4 compliant propulsion engines. Total installed horsepower is 9,980 HP. The double-ended ferries have two engines at each end of the vessel, powering one Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining reduction gears and one 36 RV6 ECS/285-2 Voith Schneider propeller

  • Length Overall 320'-0"
  • Length on Design Load Waterline 308'-3 1/2"
  • Beam, Molded 70'-0"
  • Beam over Guards 70'-3"
  • Depth at Main Deck at Side 21'-6
  • Draft to DLWL 13'-0" Gross
  • Tonnage, Estimated 4,570 Tons


Published in Shipyard News

AUGUST 31, 2017 — The Shearer Group, Inc. (TSGI) has recently been awarded a five-year indefinite deliverable contract with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). TSGI will provide design, engineering and construction oversight services to TxDOT for a new 500 passenger, 70 car ferry providing service from Galveston Island to Bolivar Peninsula.

The Houston-headquartered Shearer Group, Inc. (TSGI) is a leading designer of inland towboats, ferries and barges.

Published in Ferries
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