Blount Boats completed the 85’ Fire Islander in September 2013. The 382-passenger, 2 deck, all aluminum commuter boat will operate between Bay Shore Long Island and Fire Island on Great South Bay, Long Island, New York.
The triple screw vessel is powered by Detroit Series 60 Tier II diesel engines, 600 hp each at 2,100 rpm with 2:1 ZF 550 reduction gears. At a displacement of 43.6 tons, she cruises at 19 knots at 70% of her horsepower load at full complement and 24 knots lightship at wide open throttle with very little wake.
This Blount water bus is DC powered with PTO driven fire and bilge pumps and stainless steel cable steering to large quadrants in the steering compartment. Custom built sheaves and reduction gear sprockets enable single handed steering. The two outboard engines are plumbed to a heat recovery system that supplies hot water to several Heater Craft heaters so that this vessel can be used in the winter months. Two banks of three in-line Duramax keel coolers are strategically placed for engine cooling that allows for less drag and optimum speed.
The Fire Islander has been built and certified under U.S. Coast Guard, subchapter K Rules and Regulations. She was based on the original design of the Firebird, built by the Blount shipyard for West Ferry, Inc., a sister corporation of Fire Island Ferries in 1984. The relationship with the Blount shipyard dates back to 1971 when Ed Mooney first met Luther Blount to have him build the Capt. Patterson, a 300 passenger, steel hull ferry for Fire Island Ferries.
The new Fire Islander represents the ninth vessel built by Blount Boats for the Fire Island Ferries fleet since 1972.