Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc., Bayou La Batre, Ala., has been awarded a series production contract with Hornblower to build new 149-passenger ferries for New York City’s new citywide ferry service set to begin in Summer 2017.
The vessels are part of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to connect the outer boroughs with inexpensive waterborne mass transit. The first ferries delivered will serve the South Brooklyn, Astoria and Rockaway routes next summer, with additional routes serving the Lower East Side and Soundview in the Bronx in Summer 2018.
Horizon, which has expanded its facilities and production capabilities in recent years, will build the ferries using an assembly-line type roll-out with the first boat ready for delivery in the first quarter of 2017.
“I see this as the beginning of a long and successful relationship between Horizon and Hornblower, and I am pleased that Hornblower has placed its trust in us,” said Travis Short, President of Horizon Shipbuilding
. “The ferry delivery schedule is ambitious, but we’re no stranger to these type of projects and do not foresee any problem delivering these vessels on time.”
The use of Horizon’s GORDHEAD management software allows the shipyard and its clients to remain closely connected throughout the vessel building process and was a key reason why Hornblower selected Horizon.
“When we were looking for shipyards, we wanted to work with builders that had the same can-do attitude and innovative approach to business that we have,” said Cameron Clark, Vice President and General Manager for Hornblower. “Being able to stay connected with the project 24/7 to resolve issues quickly was critical for us. We were impressed with the transparency of Horizon and their software, and we are confident in their ability to delivery a world class ferry product for our future NYC customers.”
Designed by Incat Crowther, the new ferries have an overall length of 85’ – 4” with a 26’ – 3” beam. The all-aluminum vessels will achieve a speed of 25 knots.
The ferries will be significantly more spacious for passengers when compared to typical airline seating and be ADA compliant with wheelchair accessible loading ramps and bathrooms, as well as wheelchair lockdowns forward. Concession stands will provide passengers with an assortment of food
and drinks. The vessels will also boast 21st century features such as high speed Wi-Fi and plenty of charging stations for mobile phones, tablets and laptop computers.