Bay State Cruise Company ordered a 149-passenger high-speed ferry from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, for service between Boston and Provincetown, Mass. The vessel has a June delivery date. The new vessel replaces Friendship IV, built by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard in 1994, and under charter to Bay State for its Provincetown run in the summer and service in the British Virgin Islands in the winter. According to shipyard officials, the vessel will continue service in south Florida
and the islands. The new, all-aluminum ferry, designed by Incat Designs is 98 ft. (29.8 m) long, 29.5 ft. (9.1 m) at the beam, and draws 6 ft. (1.8 m). It will be powered by a pair of Cummins KTA38M2 diesel engines, each delivering 1,350 bhp at 1,950 rpm. The engines will turn twin Brutons five-blade nickel-aluminum-bronze propellers via ZF2550 reverse-reduction gearboxes. The ferry's top speed is expected to reach 30 knots.
The new catamaran's more modern and rounded bows are Incat's latest development in hull design. The hulls' lower resistance improves sea-keeping and efficiency and the shape is more suitable to a variety of trims and displacements, said shipyard president Peter Duclos. "The Friendship IV's nearly non-stop performance in the past 10 years, from BVI to Florida to Boston, New York City and Bar Harbor, Maine, is respected in the industry. The new boat offers the same simplicity and economy, but with more modern equipment and construction. Structural improvements will save weight and the new hull design will increase the vessel's sea-keeping and fuel efficiency. The conservatively-rated engines provide an economical balance of passenger capacity and speed."