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Florida-based Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. (ESG) has announced the completion of the first of three new Staten Island “Ollis Class” Ferries for the City of New York Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Staten Island Ferry Division. The iconic SSG Michael H. Ollis, (Hull 219) departed ESG’s Port St. Joe Facility fully certified and passenger ready.

Dann Ocean Towing’s Colonel is towing the ferry from Port St. Joe, FL to New York City, NY. The trip will take approximately 12 days. Upon arrival in New York, the ferry will be staged at Caddell Dry Dock for cleaning and another round of trials and training. It is scheduled to begin transporting passengers in the Fall.

The new Staten Island Ollis Class Ferries series are named after fallen soldier of the US Army 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, ‘Climb to Glory’, Army Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis. Ollis, a Staten Island native, was killed shielding fellow soldiers from a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on August 28, 2013 while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. Hull 219, the first of the series, is named in his honour.

ESG is providing regulatory and detailed production engineering, vessel construction, and delivery of the three new Staten Island Ollis Class Ferries. The ferries have been constructed in ESG’s Allanton yard. ESG’s newest facility in Port St. Joe, Florida performed the outfitting, testing, and trials tasks.

The vessels have been a local attraction and significant source of economic development in the Gulf Region.

The new ferries are larger, reflect modern technology, and will operate more safely in extreme weather conditions. They feature popular design elements of past Staten Island Ferries and new customer-service amenities such as more comfortable seating and phone-charging outlets and an oval upper-deck promenade that will for the first time serve as an outdoor “walking track” for ferry riders. They have the latest in marine technology for energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. There are design features on the vessels that are part of the emergency response plan with the city. Lessons from 9/11 were built into this fleet and they can be connected to the New York fire vessels, also built by Eastern Shipbuilding Group, to support evacuations and rescue.

The three Ollis Class double ended 4,500 passenger ferries, are from a design provided by Elliott Bay Design Group, with each ferry featuring four ABS Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) L12ME23B @ 750rpm EPA Tier 4 marine propulsion engines with two engines powering one ABS Reintjes DUP 3000 P combining gear and one ABS 36 RV6 ECS/285-2 Voith Schneider Propeller at each end of the vessel.

Power generation is provided by three ABS, EPA Tier 3 marine continuous duty diesel generator sets, Caterpillar C18 driving 480 V, 60 Hz, 3-phase generators rated at 425 kW at 0.8 P.F. @ 1800 rpm.

“We are proud to deliver Staten Island Ferry SSG Michael H. Ollis to New York City fully certified and passenger-ready. It is the first vessel of the modernised fleet and boasts the most advanced technology and environmental engineering in the maritime industry. It’s been an honour for Eastern to build this class named after one of our fallen heroes and deliver state of the art vessels for the world’s busiest passenger-ferry route. This iconic vessel transports millions of tourists and residents every year. It is a critical maritime infrastructure project that was proudly built by hardworking American ship designers and builders,” said Joey D’Isernia, President of Eastern Shipbuilding Group.

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