Gladding-Hearn has again added to its reputation as one of the preeminent builders of fast craft in the U.S. with the delivery of Jet
Express III, a new 88-ft. (26.6-m) high speed passenger ferry for Put-In-Bay Boat Line and Put-In-Bay Township Port Authority of South
Bass Island, Ohio.
The catamaran, built to the Incat design, will transport up to 149 passengers between Port Clinton and South Bass Island on Lake Erie. The
owner currently operates two 98-ft. high speed ferries, which have carried more than 150,000 passengers each summer from the mainland for
more than a decade.
The new Jet Express III features composite hulls and an aluminum superstructure. Gladding-Hearn built and equipped the superstructure,
while TPI Composites of Warren, R.I. fabricated the hulls from vinyl ester resins and E-glss over a balsa core, using the SCRIMP vacuum-bagging process.
"The design of this boat is simple in order to keep the price, operating costs and maintenance to a minimum," said Peter Duclos
, the shipyard's
president. "We selected a composite hull laminate schedule that provided the best combination of cost, low weight, high impact resistance and
ease of repair. The vessel has a 28-ft. (8.6-m) beam and draws four ft. (1.3 m). It
carriers 1,400 gallons of fuel, is driven by KaMeWa FF-550 waterjets and is powered by twin diesel engines that deliver 1,100 bhp at 2,300 rpm, through ZF 1900 gear boxes. The waterjets have built-in interceptor-type trim tabs to optimize performance under a variety of
conditions. The vessel's top speed, fully loaded with passengers and baggage, is 30 knots.