The 100 ft. passenger ferry M/V Freedom was launched today on the ways at Blount/Barker Shipbuilding, llc in Warren, R.I. Bristol Harbor Marine Design designed and oversaw the construction of the 100 ft. passenger ferry conversion for the Delaware River Port Authority
(DRPA). The DRPA recently acquired the vessel (ex M/V Essex)
with the intention of converting it from an auto/passenger ferry to
passenger only service, and to increase the maximum passenger capacity from
149 to 600. Modifications include a conversion to double ended propulsion,
the enclosure of the main deck, the addition of HVAC and marine engineering
systems and provision of a partially enclosed upper deck viewing area. This
major conversion and increase in passenger capacity have resulted in the
enforcement of, and upgrade to, current United States Coast Guard Subchapter
K requirements in the design.
The vessel was built in 1981 at Blount Marine Corporation located
R.I. and has enjoyed 20 years of successful operation serving as an
auto/passenger ferry, under USCG Subchapter T requirements. The vessel has
been renamed the M/V Freedom and will service the Delaware River, in the
vicinity of Camden and Philadelphia.