North Carolina DOT orders two new ferries

The following is the text of a press release issued by Elliot Bay Design Group LLC:

Elliott Bay Design Group LLC recently announced the completion of the contract design for North Carolina Department of Transportation’s New Sound Class ferry. The design will go out for shipyard bids in January. At least two vessels will be built to this design and are expected to enter service in late 2009. The new boats will join North Carolina’s existing fleet of 24 ferries, which currently transport over 1.1 million vehicles and more than 2.5 million passengers over seven routes on Currituck and Pamlico Sounds and the Cape Fear, Neuse and Pamlico rivers.

With a capacity for 300 passengers and 50 vehicles, the New Sound Class ferries will service the 2-hour Cedar Island to Ocracoke Island and the Swan Quarter to Ocracoke runs in North Carolina’s Pamlico Sound. The Sound is notorious for its sand bars and its short, steep seas and strong winds. The vessel’s hull has been specially designed to reduce pitching and breaking waves and spray to provide for greater passenger comfort. Overnight accommodations for a crew of six are included in the design.

“We at EBDG are delighted to be working with NC DOT on this new ferry design, which achieves new standards for passenger comfort and safety, ADA compliance, and environmental friendliness,” says Doug Wolff, EBDG’s Vice President of Operations and project manager for the design effort.

The single-ended ferry design features a length of 220 feet, a 50-foot beam and a full-load draft of 6 feet, 6 inches. The conventional twin-screw vessels will be powered by two 1140 BHP MTU main engines and will be capable of sustaining a speed of 12 knots. They will carry two 175 kw John Deere generators and a 99 kw emergency generator. Maneuvering will be enhanced by a 500 HP Omnithruster bow thruster.

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.

For more information please contact:

Christina Villiott, CPSM

Marketing Manager

Elliott Bay Design Group LLC

Phone: 206.782.3082

Direct: 206.204.1310

Fax  206.782.3449

By Professional Mariner Staff