VIDEO: Gulfstream Shipbuilding launches Plum Island ferry

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The crewboat style ferry will serve the DHS Directorate of Science and Technology Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient Point, NY.

JULY 19, 2017 — Gulfstream Shipbuilding recently launched a custom passenger/ vehicle ferry for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at its Freeport, FL, shipyard.

Set for delivery this fall, the 118 ft x 27 ft x 10 ft- 9 in crew boat-style vessel will service the DHS Directorate of Science and Technology Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient Point, NY. It is named to honor Edward V. Kramer, a U.S. Air Force veteran who worked at Plum Island for over 60 years. Kramer passed away two years ago.

The vessel is capable of carrying up to 149 passengers and crew and fire engines as well as support vehicles and freight on its rear cargo deck, operating in and around the waters of the Eastern Long Island Sound and Gardiner’s Bay.

“This is a significant milestone for our shipyard and crew who have been honored to efficiently produce a custom, highly capable vessel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” said Joe Heinz, Sales Engineer of Gulfstream Shipbuilding. “This is the fourth vessel that the Gulfstream shipyard has built and delivered to operate near the Eastern Long Island Sound waters. We are proud of our 35+ year history of building strong aluminum crew boats for all types of conditions.”

The initial contract was awarded to Gulfstream Shipbuilding in 2016. Working with Naval Architect C. Fly Marine Services, Gulfstream and its design team incorporated key design elements to meet and exceed the Critical Vessel Objective.

The Edward V. Kramer is a  welded aluminum, monohull, diesel-propelled, quad-screw passenger/vehicle ferry. It has a draft of 6 ft x 6 in.

The USCG Subchapter T–certified vessel is powered by four Caterpillar C32 diesel engines giving it a top of 26 knots. Other key components include twin John Deere GK4045-powered gensets, a Skipper Hydraulics steering system and ZF four-station Clear Command controls with synchronization capabilities. It is fitted with an upgraded 100 hp Wesmar hydraulic dual prop thruster for added maneuverability.

The hull structure is robust and designed for strength with considerations for ice, but not so overly heavy as to affect performance, maneuverability, seaworthiness, comfort and speed requirements. Paying particular attention to the beam at waterline and dead rise considerations, the hull design provides for minimal frictional and wave-making resistance along with the center of gravity to meet the peak performance envelope and to ensure adequate speed and efficiency.

Gulfstream’s hull design is similar to that of a Gulf Coast crewboat, with a diminished cargo deck overall and a narrower beam at the waterline to reduce overall resistance at semi-displacement speeds. A sharp entry and moderate dead rise will provide a comfortable ride platform within the operational envelope.

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