Major ferry design projects for EBDG

Elliott Bay Design Group LLC (EBDG) recently announced that it has a number of major ferry design projects in progress.  With clients from across the country, including many repeat customers, the company continues to assert itself as a leader in the ferry design market. 

In early 2008 the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), Corpus Christi District selected EBDG to design a new 28-car ferry for service between Port Aransas and Harbor Island.  This short route forms the continuation of Texas State Highway 361 across the Corpus Christi Channel. The multi-phased design effort began with a Design Study Report, which included a hull and superstructure configuration study, propulsion and steering configuration and cost studies, and a capital cost study.  Follow-on phases include Contract Design, Bid Support and Construction Liaison.  The first two phases are complete, and EBDG is now engaged in facilitating the bid effort. 

The design features a length of 160 feet, 52-foot beam, a full-load draft of 8 feet, and two 600hp diesel engine-driving propellers for a service speed of 9 knots.  The new ferry will be ADA-compliant and built to ABS class for service on intra-coastal waters.  It will join the Texas DOT fleet of six 20-car ferries.  Ultimately, the DOT’s older vessels will be replaced with this design. 

Washington State Ferries (WSF) selected EBDG to design the replacement vessels for their aging steel-electric class boats on the Keystone-Port Townsend run.  Because it was a proven design suited to open water, high winds and wave conditions, WSF adopted EBDG’s existing ISLAND HOME ferry design and made modifications to fit WSF’s system.

Design changes include modifications to the hull to fit WSF terminals and slightly increased length and depth for an improved life-cycle weight margin.  Internal modifications include a near doubling of fuel capacity, revised sewage system, removal of bow thrusters and lift deck, and redesign of the superstructure.  One of the mezzanine passenger areas was converted to a bike holding area.  The superstructure is a combination of steel and aluminum for weight savings.  The propulsion system consists of two main engines (one at each end) with fixed-pitch propeller and high-lift rudder. The new vessel will be 274 feet long with a 65-foot beam, will have a capacity for 64 cars and 750 passengers, and will have a service speed of about 14 knots.

Washington State Ferries has signed a “notice to proceed,” giving Todd Pacific Shipyards the official go-ahead to start work on the new boat.  EBDG now begins the construction liaison phase of the project.

EBDG also won the contract to develop the contract design for Wahkiakum County’s proposed new ferry.  This vessel will replace the aging WAHKIAKUM, which is a vital link in the economic lifeline of the lower Columbia communities, providing the only opportunity for crossing the Columbia River between Longview and Astoria.  The new boat will be approximately 110 feet long and carry 23 cars, doubling the capacity of the existing ferry.  It will take advantage of modern technology to provide the most economical operations and maintenance regimes possible for minimum long-term operations costs.  As a benefit to the local economy, the boat will be able to accommodate a variety of larger trucks and recreational vehicles.  The design work is expected to wrap up in May 2009.

EBDG has been selected to design the next generation of ferries to begin the replacement of the aging Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) fleet. The new Alaska-Class Ferry will be environmentally-responsible, fuel-efficient and versatile. The new ferries will enhance AMHS operations on current and future routes within inside-waters and enable AMHS to continue its tradition of providing safe, reliable service.

In addition to new vessel design projects, EBDG continues to book considerable ferry work involving modifications, SOLAS- and ADA-compliance upgrades and repair work, as well as transportation analysis services.

With offices in Seattle and New Orleans, Elliott Bay Design Group provides naval architecture, marine engineering and production support for the commercial marine industry, serving owners, operators, shipyards and government agencies across the country.  Elliott Bay Design Group LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Commercial Lines Inc.

Visit EBDG on the web at

By Professional Mariner Staff