Eastern delivers third Ollis-class ferry for Staten Island

(PORT ST. JOE, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) has completed the third and final Ollis-class ferry for the City of New York Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division. On Thursday, the ferry Dorothy Day, Hull 221, departed ESG’s Port St. Joe Shipyard with the U.S. Coast Guard certificate of inspection and the ABS class certificates in hand.

“It has been an honor for our company to build the three Ollis-class Staten Island ferries for the citizens of New York City marking a bold new chapter in the Staten Island Ferry’s 200-year-old legacy of public transportation,” said Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group. “These cutting-edge ferries are now the premier vessels of the world’s busiest passenger-only ferry system that has reliably served the people of New York, New Jersey and the millions of tourists New York City welcomes each year. With the delivery of the Ollis class, ESG is proud to continue this time-honored tradition for decades to come.”

Eastern Shipbuilding Group photo

Dann Ocean Towing’s Sarah Dann is towing the ferry from Eastern’s shipyard in Port St. Joe to New York City. The trip will take approximately 14 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 later this year.

“Since entering service, the first two Ollis-class ferries built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group have operated flawlessly with zero unplanned operational downtime. This is a testament to the quality and craftsmanship built into each vessel by our employees,” D’Isernia said.

The new Staten Island Ollis class is named after U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, a fallen soldier of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. 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.

Dorothy Day is named for the renowned activist and journalist who lived and worked on Staten Island. Day co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement, which included offering food and shelter to those in need on the Lower East Side during the Great Depression, and created the Catholic Worker newspaper.

Day’s legacy has advanced through the Roman Catholic Church’s canonization process. The Vatican accepted her name in 2000 from John Cardinal O’Connor as a preliminary step for consideration, and a Dorothy Day Guild was formed in 2004. The church has bestowed Day with the “Servant of God” title, with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops formally endorsing her candidacy for sainthood in 2012.

ESG provided regulatory and detailed production engineering, vessel construction and delivery of the three new Ollis-class ferries. They were constructed at ESG’s yard in Allanton, Fla. ESG’s newest facility in Port St. Joe performed the outfitting, testing and trials tasks. The vessels were 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 Ferry vessels 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 also 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 for the city. Lessons from 9/11 were built into this fleet and the ferries 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, with each ferry featuring four EMD L12ME23B engines rated EPA Tier 4. Two engines power one Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining gear and one 36 RV6 ECS/285-2 Voith Schneider propeller at each end of the vessel. Auxiliary power is provided by three Caterpillar C18 EPA Tier 3 gensets.

Dorothy Day specifications

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: 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

– Eastern Shipbuilding Group

By Rich Miller