Nichols Brothers to Build WTA Boats

Friday, May 05, 2006
The San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority is starting to build boats, issuing a Letter of Intent to Award a contract to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders to construct two new 149 passenger vessels.

Vessel construction will start this summer, and the first boats will be delivered by 2007. “We’re proud to be leading the way with regional ferry service,” says Charlene Haught-Johnson, chair of the Board of Directors of the Authority. “We’ve promised to deliver a reliable, cost-effective, convenient and environmentally friendly water transit system. And that’s just what we’re doing.”

These boats are the first of 10 new boats that the Authority expects to build over the next 10 years. Mary Frances Culnane, the Authority’s Manager of Marine Engineering, will manage the construction contract for the Authority. “These boats have the potential to alter the course of the entire ferry industry in a technically feasible, economically practical and environmentally responsible fashion”, says Culnane. “We are developing the most stringent emission standard for ferryboats anywhere in the world. The propulsion systems used will be 10 times cleaner than current vessels. In addition the boats will be built to the highest level of reliability, passenger comfort, safety, and low wake impact.” Teri Shore, Clean Vessels Campaign Director for Bluewater Network (the environmental conscience of the Maritime industry) agreed adding “the new ferries will usher in the next generation of clean water transit.”

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