Construction begins on Rhode Island high-speed ferry

Construction has started on the second high-speed passenger ferry that Rhode Island Fast Ferry has ordered from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding.

Scheduled for delivery in 2019, the 320-passenger Julia Leigh will operate on a seasonal route between Quonset Point and Block Island.

Powered by twin MTU diesel engines that each deliver 1,400kW at 1,800rpm, the all-aluminium catamaran measures 33.2 metres by 9.6 metres and will have a top speed of 29 knots.

When complete, Julia Leigh will be a sister vessel to the smaller 2012-built Ava Pearl.

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