VESSEL REVIEW | Governors I – 400-passenger ferry for the popular route between Manhattan and Governors Island

VESSEL REVIEW | Governors I – 400-passenger ferry for the popular route between Manhattan and Governors Island


Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) designed a double-ended ferry for Governors Island to provide transportation between the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan and Soissons Landing. The passenger-only ferry has an overall length of 132′ (40 metres) and capacity for 400 passengers.

The Trust for Governors Island issued an invitation for bid (IFB) for a small, passenger-only ferry vessel in February 2017, looking for design and construction responses. EBDG partnered with Blount Boats of Warren, Rhode Island.

Specifications included that the vessel would be used and certified to transport at least 334 passengers and three crew between existing ferry terminals in Manhattan and on Governors Island on 20-minute roundtrips. Regulatory requirements included meeting United States Coast Guard Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 46 Subchapter K.

Other design requirements included room for bike storage, good throughput to provide for efficient passenger flow, a vessel with high maneuverability and enough speed to make the required schedule.

The interior of the vessel is pretty simple: seating is provided along the exterior perimeter of the passenger deck while the centre of the vessel is left open for standing. This design function allows for heavy traffic flow during the boarding process.

“The design was simple as the vessel requirements were clear,” EBDG told Baird Maritime. “However, the biggest challenge our team faced was the hydrodynamics of the vessel, due to the speed and maneuverability requirements. Our team utilised computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to determine optimal hull form based upon the vessels specifications.

“After vessel construction our engineers conducted a full vessel 3D scan using Matterport. We were able to overlay the 3D images produced from the scan with our vessel rendering. This is a great learning experience in design practicality.

“3D scanning is a valuable tool that our team is using for several marine applications. Not only is it a great visual aid and communication tool but it allows our engineers to evaluate data and solve problems more precisely.”

Governors 1 has dual 800 hp engines, so maintaining optimal air pressure and temperature was critical for peak performance and efficiency, as well as crew comfort and safety. Delta “T”” engineered the system with two five-horsepower intakes and two two-horsepower exhaust fans controlled by a 600-C2 manual control. Humidity is managed with a pair of high-performance aluminum moisture eliminators.

The propulsion system comprises two Cummins QSK19, Tier III, 800 bhp (600 bkW) main engines operating at 1,800 rpm, driving Hundested 63-inch (1.6-metre) controllable pitch propellers via Hundested CPG38 3.96:1 gearboxes. The Hundested CPP and high lift rudder provide the power and functionality the owner was looking for.

“From our perspective as engineers, the driveline of the vessel is interesting,” EBDG added. “The owner required we stay within Tier III emission requirements while providing maximum horsepower to meet schedule requirements and provide a high degree of maneuverability and vessel responsiveness.”

Click here for the other news, features and reviews comprising this month’s Passenger Vessel Week

Governors 1
Type of vessel: Passenger ferry
Classification: USCG Subchapter K
Port of registry: New York
Flag: USA
Owner: The Trust for Governors Island, USA
Operator The Trust for Governors Island, USA
Designer: Elliott Bay Design Group, USA
CAD software: AutoCAD (2D); Rhino (3D)
Builder: Blount Boats, USA
Hull construction material: ABS Grade A Steel
Superstructure construction material: Steel
Length overall: 132′ (40.3 metres)
Length waterline: 128′ (39.2 metres)
Length bp: 121′ 0″ (36.9 metres)
Beam: 40′ (12.2 metres)
Draught: 7′ 6″ (2.3 metres) (design draught)
Depth: 13′ (4.0 metres)
Displacement: 340 tons
Deadweight tonnage: 58 tons
Gross tonnage: 100 USCG regulatory gross tons (46 CFR Subchapter K)
Net tonnage: 282 tons (lightship)
Main engines: 2 x Cummins QSK19, Tier III, 800 bhp (600 kW) @ 1,800 rpm
Gearboxes: 2 x Hundested CPG 38
Propulsion: 2 x Hundested CPP
Generators: 2 x John Deere 4045T, Tier III, each 65 kW
Steering system: Jastram TS2-35-1-45 and Becker high-lift Heracles rudder
Maximum speed: 12 knots
Cruising speed: 10 knots
Range: 10 day tank capacity plus 10%
Electronics supplied by: Furuno
Radars: 2 x Furuno DRS4D digital radar 4kW, 36 nm, 24″ dome
Depth sounders: 2 x Furuno NavNet TZTouch2 12″ radar/chart/fish finder
Compasses: 2 x Ritchie Globemaster B-463 shock-mounted steel boat compasses
Windows: Beclawat
Seating: UES Seating
Lighting: KLUS Linear Lights (LED)
Floor/deck surface finishes: Lonseal
Safety equipment: Jasons Cradle
Type of fuel: Diesel
Fuel capacity: 4,750 gallons (17,980 litres) @ 95%
Fuel consumption: 25.3 gallons (95.8 litres) per hour for all engines and boiler
Freshwater capacity: 500 gallons (1,900 litres) @ 95%
Sewage/blackwater capacity: 2,000 gallons (7,600 litres) @ 95%
Crew: 3 to 4
Passengers: 400

Alex Baird

Alex Baird is the Managing Director of Baird Maritime