Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group
(EBDG) has been selected by The Steamship Authority to design a new 250' ferry to replace the aging M/V ISLANDER
, which carries passengers and vehicles between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
EBDG was recently awarded the contract to complete this multiple phase project which includes a Preliminary Design Study, Contract Design, Shipyard Bid Assistance, and Construction Support.
As an initial task, EBDG completed a Design Study which looked at four design scenarios. EBDG Project Manager Doug Wolff recently presented the design options to the communities involved. As he told the interested residents, "the preliminary design review
was broken down into components: a styling study, visibility study, vehicle deck options, passenger deck options, and a propulsion study."
The double-ended vessel will measure 250 feet in length and have a total passenger capacity of 1,200 with enclosed seating for 600. The car deck will allow for 60 cars with room for an additional 16 vehicles on lift decks that can be raised or lowered depending on need. The vessel will have a target speed of 16 knots, utilizing diesel-electric propulsion with two fixed-pitch propellers. Bow thrusters and an advanced rudder system will provide added maneuverability.
The next phase of the design process includes tank testing of a 20-foot model. According to Wolff, one of the goals of the model testing will be to observe the hull performance in rough water conditions.
The current schedule calls for a contract to be awarded to a shipyard in August 2004, with delivery from the builder in December 2005.