Maine shipbuilder, Norwegian company partnering on carbon-fiber ferries


The following is the text of a news release from Front Street Shipyard:

(BELFAST, Maine) — Front Street Shipyard is partnering with Brodrene Aa in Hyen, Norway, to market, sell and build carbon-fiber ferries throughout the United States under the new company name Arcadia Alliance. Working in conjunction with Maine Composites Alliance and Martin Grimnes, a Norwegian composites expert living in Maine, Arcadia Alliance is marketing its highly efficient ferries to state and federal agencies seeking to replace aging, inefficient passenger vessels.

Brodrene Aa currently designs and builds carbon-fiber passenger vessels in its 86,000-square-foot Norwegian facility situated along a fjord. The company has built 50 carbon ferries to date. Unlike U.S. ferries built of aluminum or fiberglass, Brodrene Aa’s carbon-fiber ferries are lightweight and consume less fuel, releasing fewer emissions into the air.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation, American ferries carry nearly 103 million passengers and just over 37 million vehicles per year. “Given the significance of ferry transport to travelers in coastal regions coupled with concerns about gas consumption and emissions, efficiency of our country’s ferries is critical,” said JB Turner, president of Front Street Shipyard. “Brodrene Aa has a progressive design to reduce consumption and emissions, and they have an exceptionally efficient construction method we can apply to the U.S. ferry market at Front Street Shipyard.”

Brodrene Aa is a 60-year-old company that introduced the world’s first carbon-fiber passenger vessel more than a decade ago. Representatives from Front Street Shipyard met with officers from Brodrene Aa in Hyen last summer. “Given Front Street Shipyard’s modern facility and boatbuilding capabilities, we believe their team can deliver the same high-quality vessels in the United States that we produce in Norway,” said Leif Riksheim, chairman of the board at Brodrene Aa.

While the new partnership is in its early stages, Arcadia Alliance has launched a temporary website ( while the organizations work together to develop the ferry designs for U.S. waters. The Arcadia Alliance sales team will begin marketing the boats in earnest later this year, with hopes that Front Street Shipyard will be able to begin construction on the first fast ferry in 2016. Representatives from interested agencies can contact Arcadia Alliance at

By Professional Mariner Staff