VIDEO: Steamship Authority takes delivery of new ferry

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Ferry is designed primarily as a "super freight boat"

JULY 26, 2016 — The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamship Authority has taken delivery of the 235 ft M/V Woods Hole.  

Built by Conrad Shipyard, Morgan City, LA, the ferry is the second designed for the Steamship Authority by Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), Seattle, WA.

EBDG’s scope for the project included extensive concept design, which proceeded to a design validation with CFD and towing tank development of the hull form, propulsion selection studies, and passenger egress validation from the evacuation system.

EBDG’s support included a parking lot validation study, shipyard bid evaluation, technical liaison during construction, and coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard.  

“It was a great project to participate in during the construction,” said  Brian King, EBDG’s Vice President of Engineering and Project Manager for the effort. “The on-site Steamship Authority team, Conrad, and EBDG were all working together with common purpose.  Conrad’s depth of experience, attention to detail, and pride of workmanship was evident throughout.  I couldn’t be more pleased with how well they translated our design into reality.”

The Woods Hole is a 235 ft single-ended ferry with a bow thruster and a service speed of 14.5 knots. 

The vessel is designed to be primarily a “super freight boat” that, when not carrying a full freight load, also serves as a passenger and car ferry carrying up to 384 passengers and 55 cars. The ferry is capable of carrying one million pounds of tractor trailer freight within hard constraints of maximum draft, length, and beam. Freight deck loading and unloading is very efficient.Operating environment requirements drove many of the design features. 

Shallow water turbulence and bottom scouring is a factor for several of the ports served, so the vessel incorporates controllable pitch propellers to minimize propeller wake wash when accelerating.  High lift rudders and a directionally vectorable bow thruster enable tight maneuvering, and the vessel can turn in its own length.  Noise mitigation was also given high priority, and it is noticeably quieter both on board and on shore.

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