The second of three new Ollis-class ferries built for the Staten Island Ferry service has left Eastern Shipbuilding.
Shipyard officials said the 320-foot, 4,500-passenger Sandy Ground left for New York City in early December under tow by the tugboat Sarah Dann. The new ferry is scheduled to enter service in 2022
The lead Ollis-class vessel is named for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, who died heroically while serving in Afghanistan. The second is named for the oldest free Black settlement in the United States located on Staten Island’s South Shore. The third ship, Dorothy Day, is scheduled for delivery next year.
“This vessel honors our nation’s African-American heritage and will tell the story of the landmark Sandy Ground community,” Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, said of Sandy Ground. “These incredible vessels are receiving international recognition for their superior design and capabilities. We thank our partners for their dedication and exceptional quality in the production of these ferries.”
Propulsion on the 9,980-hp vessels comes from four EMD Tier 4 engines driving Voith Schneider propellers through Reintjes combining reduction gears. Electrical power comes from three Caterpillar C18 generators. Elliott Bay Design Group designed the ferries.
The three Ollis-class ferries will make numerous round trips each day carrying passengers between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan. They are similar in design and size to existing ferries in the Staten Island Ferry fleet but are slightly faster, and they are set up for quicker passenger loading and offloading.
They also are equipped with a suite of modern amenities, such as more charging stations and better wireless internet service. The upper deck also functions as a walking track for passengers making the roughly 25-minute ride.