Eastern launches first Ollis-class ferry for Staten Island


The following is text of a news release from Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG):

(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group has launched SSG Michael H. Ollis (Hull 219), the first of three new Ollis-class ferries for the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division. The launch took place Friday at Eastern’s Allanton facility in Panama City, Fla., with attendance by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Eastern President Joey D’Isernia and CEO Brian D’Isernia hosted the launch ceremony, with hundreds of employees, families, state and local government officials and guests in attendance. D’Isernia conducted the ceremony with opening remarks about an American hero, 24-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, and his family, and highlighting the progress made by the shipyard since Hurricane Michael.

“Today is an exciting day, especially for the employees of Eastern Shipbuilding Group and for the citizens of northwest Florida. The launch of this addition to the iconic Staten Island Ferry marks a significant milestone in the recovery of Bay County and northwest Florida. Much like the rest of Bay County, this facility and our Nelson Street facility were virtually unrecognizable after the storm. Through the hard work and determination of each and every ESG employee, as well as the support of our families, friends, neighbors, vendors and customers, we have rebuilt this facility in a year’s time," D'Isernia said.

The new Ollis-class ferries are named after fallen soldier of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division, a Staten Island native killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 28, 2013 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. The first of the series, Hull 219, is named in his honor. Ollis, of the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), stepped into the path of a Polish officer, blocking him from the suicide vest of an insurgent who had raided Forward Operating Base Ghazni. Ollis has received several honors posthumously including Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Silver Star, the Audie Murphy Medallion, Polish Gold Star Medal of Honor, and the Afghanistan Star from Poland for his valor.

Eastern is building three Ollis-class vessels. The double-ended, 4,500-passenger ferries are based on a design provided by Elliott Bay Design Group, with each ferry featuring four EMD 12-710 EPA Tier 4 engines, with two engines linked to one Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining gear and one 36 RV6 ECS/285-2 Voith Schneider propeller at each end of the vessel. Power generation is provided by three Caterpillar C18 engines driving 480 V, 60 Hz, three-phase generators.

The three (3) Ollis Class Ferries features the following characteristics:

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 Maltese Cross A1, Ferry Service, River Service, Maltese Cross AMS Notation, U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter H

The Ollis-class ferries will operate between the boroughs of Staten Island and Manhattan daily. The second vessel in the class, the future Sandy Ground, is currently under construction.

The onsite owner's representation for the duration of the project will be managed by Glosten Associates.

By Professional Mariner Staff