Eastern delivers first Ollis-class ferry for Staten Island service

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(PORT ST. JOE, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) on Friday announced the completion of the first of three new Ollis-class ferries for the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division. M/V SSG Michael H. Ollis, hull 219, departed ESG’s Port St. Joe Facility fully certified and passenger-ready.

Dann Ocean Towing’s Colonel is towing the ferry from Port St. Joe to New York City. The trip will take approximately 12 days. Upon arrival in New York, the ferry will be staged at Caddell Dry Dock for cleaning and another round of trials and training. It is scheduled to begin transporting passengers in the fall.

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Eastern Shipbuilding Group photo

The new ferry series is named after Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis. Ollis, a Staten Island native, was killed shielding fellow soldiers from a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Aug. 28, 2013 while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. Hull 219, the first of the series, is named in his honor.

“We are proud to deliver Staten Island Ferry M/V SSG Michael H. Ollis to New York City fully certified and passenger-ready. It is the first vessel of the modernized fleet and boasts the most advanced technology and environmental engineering in the maritime industry,” said Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group. “It’s been an honor for Eastern to build this class named after one of our fallen heroes and deliver state-of-the-art vessels for the world’s busiest passenger ferry route. This iconic vessel transports millions of tourists and residents every year. It is a critical maritime infrastructure project that was proudly built by hardworking American ship designers and builders.”

ESG is providing regulatory and detailed production engineering, vessel construction, and delivery of the three new Ollis-class ferries. The ferries have been constructed in ESG’s Allanton, Fla., yard. ESG’s newest facility in Port St. Joe performed the outfitting, testing and trials tasks. The vessels have been a local attraction and significant source of economic development in the Gulf region.

The new ferries are larger, reflect modern technology, and will operate more safely in extreme weather conditions. They feature popular design elements of past Staten Island ferries and new customer-service amenities such as more comfortable seating, phone-charging outlets and an oval upper-deck promenade that will for the first time serve as an outdoor walking track for ferry riders. The ferries have the latest in marine technology for energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. There are design features on the vessels that are part of the emergency response plan with the city. Lessons from 9/11 were built into this fleet and they can be connected to the New York fire vessels, also built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group, to support evacuations and rescue.

The three Ollis-class, double-ended, 4,500-passenger ferries are from a design provided by Elliott Bay Design Group. Each ferry features four ABS Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) L12ME23B EPA Tier 4 marine propulsion engines with two engines powering one ABS Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining gear and one ABS 36 RV6 ECS/285-2 Voith Schneider propeller at each end of the vessel. Power generation is provided by three ABS EPA Tier 3 marine continuous-duty diesel generator sets.

H219 – SSG Michael H. Ollis

H220 – Sandy Ground

H221 – Dorothy Day

Length overall: 320 feet

Length on design load waterline: 308 feet 3.5 inches

Beam, molded: 70 feet

Beam over guards: 70 feet 3 inches

Depth at main deck at side: 21 feet 6 inches

Design draft: 13 feet

Installed horsepower: 9,980

Fuel oil capacity (95 percent, approximate): 30,000 gallons

Minimum seating capacity: 2,551

Maximum passenger capacity: 4,500

Crew: 16

Regulatory: ABS A1, Ferry Service, River Service, AMS Notation. U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter H passenger vessel

– Eastern Shipbuilding Group

By Professional Mariner Staff