Gladding-Hearn refitting 700-passenger Bermuda ferry

(SOMERSET, Mass.) – The government of Bermuda’s Marine and Port Services has chosen Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding to undertake a major refit of the 700-passenger ferry Bermudian.

Built in 1988, the 118-foot steel vessel completed the 635-mile crossing of the North Atlantic, arriving at the Somerset, Mass., shipyard in about 65 hours. With engineering and project management by Gladding-Hearn and Propulsion Data Services, and class oversight by Lloyd’s Register, the refit is scheduled for completion in mid-2023.

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding photo

Among the myriad items to be removed, repaired or replaced, the hull will receive repairs as required by class and repainted.

The vessel’s original twin Detroit Diesel 12V-71 460-hp main engines will be replaced with continuously rated Caterpillar C18, 600-hp IMO Tier 2 diesel engines, along with new controls and monitoring systems. With new enlarged shafts, seals, bearings, cooling and exhaust systems, the engines will be paired with new ZF W650 gearboxes to turn five-blade HS Marine nibral propellers. The repowered ferry will have a service speed of 12 knots with a full load of passengers.

Existing air controls at each of the three control stations – one centerline and one at each bridge wing in the wheelhouse – will be replaced with ZF electronic controls. The original Wagner steering will be replaced with a new Kobelt PTO powered hydraulic system.

Two new 99-kW Caterpillar generators, with new mechanical and electrical support systems, will replace the existing 40-kW gensets. In the engine room, the existing Halon fire suppression system will be replaced with a new “clean agent” system.

The passenger accommodations will be renewed or updated. The five passenger heads will be refreshed with new fixtures and Headhunter toilets. The black- and graywater-holding capacity will be increased to comply with zero-discharge requirements.

In the main cabin, with seating for 150 passengers, the interior bulkheads will be relined and the carpeting replaced. The cabin ceiling will be replaced, along with new LED lighting. A new 36,000-BTU air conditioning system will replace the existing HVAC.

A new integrated audio/visual passenger information system will be installed in the passenger accommodation spaces, and a new CCTV security system will monitor the entire vessel from the wheelhouse.

New electronics will feature the Simrad NSS16 EVO multifunctional display, linked to its HALO24 radar and interfaced with the vessel’s existing AIS. The incandescent navigation, floodlights and searchlights will be replaced with new LED fixtures.

– Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding

By Rich Miller