Another Nichols Brothers catamaran joined the commuter fleet on San Francisco Bay
in November. Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Inc., of Whidbey Island, Wash., delivered a Cummins-powered, 112-ft. vessel for service between Alameda, Oakland, and San Francisco.
The 315-passenger catamaran, M/V Peralta, will be operated by the Alameda/Oakland Ferry Service, with the Blue and Gold Fleet providing maintenance and engineering services. As with the 27 other catamarans built by Nichols Brothers, the vessel was designed by International Catamaran Designs of Sydney, Australia.
Commuter route for the Peralta includes the ports of Alameda and Oakland and the ferry landing on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. This involves a 30-minute trip according to Ernest Sanchex, manager of the Alameda/Oakland Ferry Service. The service also utilizes the M/V Encinal, also built by Nichols Brothers and was originally operated by the Red and White Fleet as the Catamarin.
Sanchez said that the Alameda/Oakland operation serves approximately 520,000 riders a year, with daily service between 6 a.m. and 7:25 p.m.
The Bay Breeze joined the Alameda/Oakland Ferry Service in 1995, now provides service as the Alameda Harbor Bay Ferry between the residential community of Bay Farms Island, Alameda, and San Francisco.
The new catamaran is powered by Cummins KTA 50 M2 1600hp engines. They drive propellers through ZF Marine BW460-1 gears. This equipment was provided by Cummins Northwest. Propellers are 5-bladed, 46-inch diameter, stainless steel equipment from Rolls Royce. Matthews Marine supplied the steering system. Reynolds Aluminum Suppply Company was the aluminum vendor.
Electronic equipment includes a Ritchie Model FD-500-B compass; Furuno FR 8111 D6 radar, FR 1525 Mk III D6 radar, and GP80D Differential GPS; and Raytheon Ray 430 loudhailer.
The vessel, dedicated in ceremonies at the Port of Oakland in November, is named for Luis Peralta who retired in 1820 after 40 years in the Spanish Army. He received a land grant of 44,000 acres in the East Bay. This grant now includes the communities of Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, Piedmont, and part of San Leandro. The hacienda he established in the Fruitvale section of Oakland was the first non-Indian settlement in the East Bay.
Current Nichols Brothers projects include the recently awarded contract to build a Robert Allen –designed fireboat for the Port of Los Angeles.