High Speed Ferry Set For Block Island

Thursday, February 08, 2001
Beginning this summer, passengers traveling from Point Judith to Block Island, R.I. will be able to complete their travel in about half the time it normally takes to perform this voyage - thanks to a 99 ft. (30.1 m), 250-passenger high speed catamaran under construction at Gladding-Hearn.

The vessel, which will have a top speed of 33 knots when loaded at a dwt of 18.6 tons, will complete the 12-mile ocean crossing in approximately 22 minutes - according to shipyard officials.

Designed by Incat Designs, Sydney, Australia for commuter and tourist service, the all-aluminum vessel will be powered by twin Caterpillar 3412E, 1,100-bhp diesel engines driving Hamilton HM521 water jets through ZF 1950 reduction gears. The vessel boasts Incat's single chine Z-bow shape.

The resulting longer waterline improves the vessel's high speed performance and sea-keeping ability. Also featured is onboard is a Vosper/MDI trim tab motion control system, which is expected to reduce the vessel's motion from wave action by as much as 60 percent.

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