Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, FL, confirmed the contract to the design and build three 4,500-passenger capacity ferries for the iconic Staten Island Ferry, following a Notice to Proceed (NTP) from New York City Department of Transportation. The NTP was received by the shipyard on March 1.
The three ferries are being funded through city, state and federal funds totaling about $314 million.
The three new Ollis Class ferries will be double ended, with an overall length of 320 feet, beam of 70 feet, and draft of 13 feet at the design load at the waterline. The three ferries will be built to comply with USCG Subchapter H and ABS +A1, Ferry Service, River Service, +AMS Notation.
Designed by Elliott Bay Design Group, Seattle, WA, the three ferries will not carry any vehicles on the 5.2 mile route between the St. George Terminal on the north shore of Staten Island and Whitehall Terminal in lower Manhattan. Each of the ferries will be fitted with four Tier 4-compliant EMD 12-710 diesel engines that will drive two Voith Schneider Propellers, model 36 RV6 ECS/285-2, via Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining reduction gears. The Reintjes gears were supplied by Karl Senner, LLC, Kenner, LA. The two VSPs—one at each end of the ferry—will provide vessel with excellent maneuverability when docking.
On a typical weekday, Staten Island Ferries carry about 70,000 commuters and tourists during 118 trips. On an annual basis, the Staten Island Ferry carries about 22 million passengers, second in the U.S. to only Washington State Ferries, which carried 24 million passengers last year.
Glosten Associates, Inc., Seattle, will perform as Owner’s Representative during the construction of the vessels at Eastern Shipbuilding. The first boat—set for delivery in 2019—will be named in honor of Staten Islander Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, who was killed in Afghanistan saving the life of a Polish soldier from a suicide bomber in 2013.
When the Ollis Class boats join the fleet, NYCDOT will retire the 52-year old John F. Kennedy and 1980s-built Andrew J. Barberi and S.I. Newhouse.