The following is text of a news release from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding:
(SOMERSET, Mass.) — Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp., has delivered a second high-speed passenger ferry for Rhode Island Fast Ferry Inc., for service between Quonset Point, R.I., and Martha’s Vineyard, alongside Ava Pearl, the operator’s first high-speed catamaran built by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard in 2012.
The new 320-passenger, all-aluminum catamaran Julia Leigh measures 113.5 feet overall, 32.4 feet at the beam, and draws 6 feet. It is powered by twin MTU-12V4000M64 diesel engines, each delivering 1,875 hp at 1,800 rpm. The engines turn a pair of five-blade Brunton nibral propellers through ZF 5055 gear boxes. The ferry is equipped with a Niaid Dynamics hydraulic trim-tab motion-control system. Electricity is supplied by a pair of 55-kW RA Mitchell generators. Top speed is 29 knots.
The vessel features designer Incat Crowther’s “S” bow hulls, which, according to the builder have proved to provide excellent seakeeping, directional stability and a high tolerance to shifts in trim and displacement.
Entrance into the boat is through the port and starboard side doors. With seating for 290 passengers on three decks, Julia Leigh has more than twice the passenger capacity than Ava Pearl. The seating arrangement reflects a blend of both interior and exterior comfort during the summer season. Equipped throughout with Beurteaux seats and tables, the main cabin has seating for 142 passengers, a snack bar and three heads.
A 180,000-Btu HVAC system will heat and cool the main cabin and the wheelhouse on the second deck. The second deck features partially-protected outdoor seating for 130 passengers. The open third deck, with seating for 18 passengers, has ample standing room for an additional 42 passengers.
Space for luggage storage is on the fore and aft decks. The vessel is equipped with an interior and exterior public address system and a video entertainment system in the main cabin.