Metal Shark, Horizon to build new ferries for NY's citywide service

Metalshark Nycitywideferrycopy

The following is the text of a news release from Metal Shark:

(JEANERETTE, La.) — Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has been selected by HNY Ferry Fleet LLC (a Hornblower company), operator of New York City’s Citywide Ferry Service, to build 85-foot, 149-passenger aluminum high-speed ferries.

Metal Shark will produce a series of ferries at its Franklin, La., shipyard, which recently received a Small Shipyard Grant from the United States Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MarAd) to expand its facilities and shipbuilding capabilities. The 25-acre waterfront facility boasts the necessary technical capability to efficiently produce passenger ferries while meeting the aggressive schedule requirements of the project.

The new Citywide Ferry Service is set to launch in the summer of 2017 and will offer affordable travel throughout New York City to waterfront communities that have long been transit-starved. A new fleet of passenger ferries operating six routes over 60 miles of waterway will connect New Yorkers and visitors to waterfront communities across the boroughs, servicing over 4.6 million passenger trips annually and integrating into the city’s overall transportation network.

The ferries produced by Metal Shark will utilize an Incat Crowther USCG Subchapter T design that delivers a 25-knot operating speed while reducing environmental impact by incorporating low-emission engines and low-wake technology. The bicycle- and stroller-friendly vessels are ADA-compliant and boast 360-degree views. Passenger amenities include onboard WiFi, power ports for small electronics such as computers and cell phones, and large LED infotainment screens.

“The tremendous support we received from Incat Crowther helped make this project a reality,” said Carl Wegener, Metal Shark’s director of commercial sales. “The entire collaborative process between Hornblower, Incat Crowther and Metal Shark has been outstanding, and we’re proud to be a part of one of the largest domestic ferry builds in the past decade.”

“Hornblower conducted an exhaustive amount of market research during the course of their search for builders, and we are honored to have been chosen,” said Metal Shark President Chris Allard. “We are confident in our ability to meet the time frames and deliver on this challenging and exciting project from the first vessel to the last.”

“It’s full steam ahead for New York City’s first citywide system in over 100 years and a system that will offer a new way to work, live play,” said Cameron Clark, vice president and general manager at Hornblower. “We are using the most advanced maritime practices and Metal Shark’s experience delivering large quantities of state-of-the-art vessels under a tight window to ensure that the newest additions to New York Harbor are up and floating before summer 2017.”

The first new vessel is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2017.

The following is the text of a news release from Horizon Shipbuilding:

(BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala.) — Horizon Shipbuilding Inc. has announced a series production contract with Hornblower to build state-of-the-art 149-passenger ferries for New York City’s new Citywide Ferry Service set to begin in summer 2017.

The vessels are part of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan to connect the outer boroughs with inexpensive waterborne mass transit. The first ferries delivered will serve the South Brooklyn, Astoria and Rockaway routes next summer, with additional routes serving the Lower East Side and Soundview in the Bronx in summer 2018.

The ferries will be built using an assembly-line type roll-out with the first boat ready for delivery in the first quarter of 2017.

“I see this as the beginning of a long and successful relationship between Horizon and Hornblower, and I am pleased that Hornblower has placed its trust in us, said Travis Short, president of Horizon Shipbuilding. “The ferry delivery schedule is ambitious, but we’re no stranger to these type of projects and do not foresee any problem delivering these vessels on time.”

The use of Horizon’s award-winning GORDHEAD management software allows the shipyard and its clients to remain closely connected throughout the vessel building process and was a key reason why Hornblower selected Horizon.

“When we were looking for shipyards, we wanted to work with builders that had the same can-do attitude and innovative approach to business that we have,” said Cameron Clark, vice president and general manager for Hornblower. “Being able to stay connected with the project 24/7 to resolve issues quickly was critical for us.  We were impressed with the transparency of Horizon and their software, and we are confident in their ability to delivery a world class ferry product for our future NYC customers.”

Designed by Incat Crowther, the new ferries have an overall length of 85 feet 4 inches, with a 26-foot 3-inch beam. The all-aluminum vessels will achieve a speed of 25 knots.

The ferries will be significantly more spacious for passengers when compared to typical airline seating and be ADA compliant with wheelchair-accessible loading ramps and bathrooms, as well as wheelchair lockdowns forward. Concession stands will provide passengers with an assortment of food and drinks. The vessels will also boast 21st century features such as high-speed Wi-Fi and plenty of charging stations for mobile phones, tablets and laptop computers.

By Professional Mariner Staff