VESSEL REVIEW | Fire Island Maid – Compact vehicle ferry delivered to New York operator

Photo: Elliott Bay Design Group
Photo: Elliott Bay Design Group

New York-based Fire Island Ferries has taken delivery of a multi-purpose vehicle and passenger ferry built by Metal Shark Boats of La Batre, Alabama.

Designed by the Elliott Bay Design Group of Seattle, Fire Island Maid measures 82 by 26 feet (25 by eight metres) and features a steel hull, an aluminium superstructure, and a hydraulic ramp for loading and unloading heavy equipment. The aft pilothouse can accommodate two crewmembers and up to six passengers while the reinforced deck is capable of supporting fully loaded concrete trucks and various types of general cargo totalling 50 tons (45.3 tonnes). The vessel's lightship displacement is only 80 tons (72.5 tonnes), allowing it to be hauled using Fire Island Ferries' existing lift.

<em>Photo: Elliott Bay Design Group</em>
Photo: Elliott Bay Design Group

Power is provided by two Cummins QSL9 US EPA Tier III 400hp (298kW) engines with a ZF control system and Twin Disc gearboxes. Cummins said the engines and the exhaust system are fully integrated for optimised fuel economy above the five per cent achieved with EPA Tier IV Interim engines, achieving near-zero emissions simultaneously. A single, higher-capacity electronic control module (ECM) provides seamless integration of all components to optimise engine performance, controlling everything from air intake to exhaust aftertreatment.

Cummins also supplied the ferry's Onan MDK generator that produces 17.5 kW at 1,500 rpm. The generator also produces low noise while the use of an optimised mounting system reduces vibrations.

Fire Island Maid will provide transport between Bay Shore, New York and various ports along the Great South Bay of Fire Island.

<em>Photo: Elliott Bay Design Group</em>
Photo: Elliott Bay Design Group
Fire Island Maid
Type of vessel:Ro-Pax ferry
Owner:Fire Island Ferries, USA
Designer:Elliott Bay Design Group, USA
Builder:Metal Shark Boats, USA
Hull construction material:Steel
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:82 feet (25 metres)
Beam:26 feet (8.0 metres)
Displacement:80 tons (72.5 tonnes)
Capacity:50 tons (45.3 tonnes)
Main engines:2 x Cummins QSL9, each 400 hp (298 kW)
Gearboxes:2 x Twin Disc
Generator:Cummins Onan MDK, 17.5 kW at 1,500 rpm
Steering system:ZF
Operational area:New York, USA

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