Anyone plying the Great South Bay between the shores of Long Island and Fire Island know that the fleet of Fire Island Ferries is a ubiquitous site, shuttling people, pets and supplies from the mainland to the barrier island oasis just five miles away. The scene is a familiar one, too, for Rhode Island boat builder Blount Boats, which has built quite a few of these ferries, and announced today the contact with Fire Island Ferries to build a new 85-ft. aluminum ferry boat for service between Bay Shore and Fire Island on Great South Bay. This vessel is a sister ship to the M/V Fire Islander (Hull 368) built by Blount Boats in 2013.
The triple screw vessel will be built and certified under U.S. Coast Guard, Subchapter K Rules and Regulations. It will be powered by John Deere Model #6135SFM85 diesel engines, 650hp each at 2,100 rpm with 2:1 ZF 550 reduction gears. This vessel marks the 10th boat designed and built by the Blount shipyard for Fire Island Ferries since 1972, a milestone for the two companies. Delivery for Hull 370 is scheduled for May 2019.
To date, the Blount Shipyard has built the following vessels for the Fire Island Ferries fleet: Capt. Patterson (1972), Fire Island Miss (1976), Traveler (1977), Vagabond (1979), Fireball (1981), Firebird (1983), Fire Island Flyer (2001), Fire Island Belle (2009), and Fire Islander (2013).