After delivering a new passenger catamaran for New York Water Taxi in June, Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding has delivered her sistership, the Sam Holmes, for shuttle service on New York Harbor
The bright yellow, all-aluminum water taxi measures 72 feet (22 m) long and 27.3 feet (2.3 m) abeam, and draws 4 feet (1.3 m). It is USCG-certified to carry 149 passengers but is limited to only 100 passengers when operating at New York City water taxi docks.
The vessel is powered by two U.S. EPA Tier 2-compliant Cummins QSK 19-M diesel engines, each rated at 800 Bhp at 2100 rpm. The engines drive 5-bladed Ni-BR-Al (nickel-bronze-aluminum) Bruntons propellers via Twin Disc MGX 5145SC “Quick Shift” gearboxes and EC-300 control systems
to improve the vessel’s maneuverability and safety when bow landing.
At 26 knots, the new water taxi has a greater service speed than New York Water Taxi’s current six vessels and, with the same crew size, has twice the passenger capacity.
The boat’s carpeted main cabin seats 99 passengers and is entirely accessible for passengers in wheel chairs. The exposed upper deck, behind the wheelhouse, seats 50 passengers and has standing room for another 20. Passengers board and disembark through doors at the bow between the main cabin and foredeck. The foredeck is heated so passengers won’t slip on ice and snow in the winter.
The main cabin is outfitted with Beurteaux Ocean tourist seats, LDC TV monitors, a head, snack bar, and heating and air conditioning. Above the passenger doors and in the main cabin are illuminated LED destination signs. These signs, integrated with a Next Bus Web-based GPS tracking system, automatically display the vessel’s next stop, along with updates on the arrival time, and triggers pre-recorded digital PA announcements.
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, Gladding-Hearn has built 32 high-speed passenger ferries for service in the U.S. and the Caribbean since becoming a U.S. Licensee of Incat Designs in 1984.