The following is the text of a news release from Gulfstream Shipbuilding:
(FREEPORT, Fla.) — Gulfstream Shipbuilding has launched a custom passenger-vehicle ferry for the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This 118-by-27-foot crew boat-style vessel will be delivered in the fall 2017 to service the New York and Connecticut waters.
The aluminum ferry will service the DHS Directorate of Science and Technology Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient Point, N.Y. The vessel is capable of transporting passengers, freight and vehicles in and around the waters of eastern Long Island Sound and Gardiner’s Bay.
“This is a significant milestone for our shipyard and crew who have been honored to efficiently produce a custom, highly capable vessel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,” said Joe Heinz, sales engineer for Gulfstream Shipbuilding. “This is the fourth vessel that the Gulfstream Shipyard has built and delivered to operate near the eastern Long Island Sound waters."
The initial contract was awarded to Gulfstream Shipbuilding in 2016. Working with naval architect C. Fly Marine Services, Gulfstream Shipbuilding and its design team incorporated key design elements to meet and exceed the critical vessel objective. The welded aluminum, monohull, diesel-propelled, quad-screw includes an upgraded 100-hp Wesmar hydraulic dual-prop thruster for added maneuverability.
The U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter T-certified vessel also features four Caterpillar C32 diesel engines producing a top speed of 26 knots. Other key components include twin John Deere GK4045 gensets, a Skipper Hydraulics steering system and ZF four-station Clear Command controls with synchronization capabilities.
The hull structure is designed for strength with considerations for ice, but not overly heavy as to affect performance, maneuverability, seaworthiness,comfort and speed requirements. Paying particular attention to the beam at waterline and dead-rise considerations, the hull design provides for minimal frictional and wave-making resistance along with the center of gravity to meet the peak-performance envelope and to ensure adequate speed and efficiency.
Gulfstream's hull design is similar to that of a Gulf Coast crew boat, with a diminished cargo deck overall and a narrower beam at the waterline to reduce overall resistance at semi-displacement speeds. A sharp entry and moderate dead rise will provide a comfortable ride platform within the operational envelope.
The vessel is named to honor Edward V. Kramer, a U.S. Air Force veteran who worked at Plum Island for over 60 years. Kramer passed away two years ago.
On its rear cargo deck, the ferry is capable of carrying up to 149 passengers and crew and fire engines as well as support vehicles and freight.
The custom vessel will be delivered in the fall 2017 after completing outfitting efforts and undergoing trials and tests.