(PORT ST. JOE, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) on Wednesday announced the completion of Sandy Ground, the second Ollis-class ferry, for the Staten Island Ferry Division of the New York City Department of Transportation. Sandy Ground, Hull 220, departed ESG’s Port St. Joe shipyard passenger-ready, with its U.S. Coast Guard certificate of inspection and the ABS class certificates in hand.
“I am pleased to announce the newest Staten Island ferry, Sandy Ground, is being delivered to New York City. This vessel honors our nation’s African-American heritage and will tell the story of the landmark Sandy Ground community,” said Joey D’Isernia, president of ESG. “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.”
Dann Ocean Towing’s Sarah Dann is towing the ferry from 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 in 2022. The third Ollis-class ferry, Dorothy Day, is scheduled to be delivered in 2022.
The new Staten Island Ferry series is named after Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, a fallen soldier of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division. 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.
Sandy Ground is named after one of America’s first African-American settlements, established by freed slaves on Staten Island’s South Shore nearly 200 years ago, which became the anchor for African-Americans living on Staten Island. Sandy Ground’s history as a freed slave community dates to 1828, when Capt. John Jackson, a ferry boat operator, became the first African-American to own property on Staten Island, buying property in what is now the South Shore community of Rossville. Over time, Sandy Ground was settled by African-American oystermen, and New York’s booming oyster trade allowed residents there to own their own property, boats and businesses.
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 yard. ESG’s newest facility in Port St. Joe performed the outfitting, testing and trials. 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, along with new customer service amenities such as more comfortable seating and phone-charging outlets, and an oval upper-deck promenade that will for the first time serve as an outdoor “walking track” for ferry riders. They 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 ESG, 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
Regulatory: ABS A1, Ferry Service, River Service, AMS Notation. U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter H passenger vessel
– Eastern Shipbuilding Group