NY Waterway’s new commuter/passenger ferry

The 600-passenger Arthur E. Imperatore draws just six feet of water, reducing the need for dredging near piers.
The 600-passenger Arthur E. Imperatore draws just six feet of water, reducing the need for dredging near piers.
The 600-passenger Arthur E. Imperatore draws just six feet of water, reducing the need for dredging near piers.


Ferry operator NY Waterway has christened Arthur E. Imperatore, a new 109-foot ferry/tour boat providing a maximum 500 passengers and commuters with service in New York Harbor. 

The new vessel is named in honor of the company’s late founder who founded NY Waterway in 1986 and built the company into the nation’s largest privately-owned commuter ferry service. He passed away in 2020.

“It was Arthur Imperatore’s bold vision that resulted in the transformation of the Weehawken waterfront and revitalized ferry passage across the Hudson. It is only fitting that this great new ship should bear his name,” said NY Waterway CEO Armand Pohan.

The ceremony christening NY Waterways newest vessel in Imperatore’s honor took place at Weehawken’s Port Imperial Ferry Terminal with the namesake’s granddaughter Emma Thompson performing the traditional champagne bottle breaking. The event was attended by more than 100 guests, including NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett. 

Arthur E. Imperatore has a service speed of 21 knots and is one of the largest and most modern commuter ferries operating in the New Jersey-New York Harbor area.

Built locally by Yank Marine in Tuckahoe, NJ. and drawing only six feet of water, the ferry features a Kohler 65 kW generator set powered by a low-emission Cummins QSK3050 Tier 3 engine running at 2,000 bhp with ZF3050 marine gears. Its Clear Command engines controls were manufactured by ZF with Kobelt Components providing a Skipper steering system.

The ferry’s Furuno FA170 AIS system is Class A IMO-approved and fitted with a Navionics MSD/Nav+NI chart system preloaded for US and Canada salt and fresh waters. 

Simrad provided the compass, sonar equipment, GS-25 GPS module, and radar array with a Standard VLH3000 hailer connected to a Newmar PA-40 hailer horn. Standard also provided the Matrix ASIS/GPS, fixed mount VHF equipment, while Newmar also provided a PI-10 communications handset. Digital supplied 529-VW and 578SW VHF and AIS antennas with Shakespeare 4187-HD ratchet mounts.

The new ferry features HVAC equipment supplied by Flagship Marine, while  MP Pump provided a close-coupled, bronze 3PH, 7.5 hp fire pump.  

In March, NY Waterway’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt entered service as both a commuter ferry and for scenic tours of New York harbor in partnership with Big City Tourism. 

Virtually identical to the Arthur E. Imperatore, the 109-foot, 599-passenger FDR was built by Yank Marine, powered by low-emission EPA Tier 3 compliant engines with a service speed of 21 knots. 

While in use for a harbor tour in December 2022, the vessel responded to the scene of a Staten Island Ferry stranded by an engine fire, rescuing 558 passengers. 

Over the years, NY Waterway ferries have provided emergency service when public transit systems are disrupted. 

On 9/11, company ferries evacuated more than 150,000 people from Manhattan, part of the largest maritime evacuation in history and in August 2003, when a massive blackout shut down all Hudson River crossings, NY Waterway carried 160,000 people from Manhattan across the Hudson River to New Jersey. 

NY Waterway ferry crews have also rescued more than 300 people from New York waters, most notably the 143 people rescued from US Airways Flight 1549, the ‘Miracle on the Hudson,’ in 2009, the most successful marine rescue in aviation history.