Yankee Freedom orders new Dry Tortugas ferry from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding

Key West, Fla.-based Yankee Freedom has ordered a new 300-passenger, high-speed catamaran ferry from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation for passenger service between Key West and the Dry Tortugas National Park. The new Dry Tortugas ferry will replace Yankee Freedom III, a 250-passenger catamaran built for the 70-mile run by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard in 2012.

Delivery of Yankee Freedom IV is planned for 2026.

The new larger vessel, designed by Incat Crowther, retains the strong brand presence Yankee Freedom has established with tourists to the national park, said company officials. The all-aluminum catamaran measures 112.5 feet (34.3 meters) long, 31.6 feet (9.65 meters) at the beam, and will have a draft of 6.9 feet (2.13 meters).

It will be powered by a pair of MTU 12V-4000M65R EPA Tier 4-compliant diesel engines, each delivering 2,000 bhp at 1,600 rpm and turning Ni-Br-Al propellers via twin ZF model 8000 gearboxes. The ferry will be equipped with an Atlantic Detroit Diesel-Allison, 80kW EPA Tier 3-approved genset with the addition of exhaust gas treatment. A Humphree active interceptor ride control system will be installed to control vessel pitch and roll. Top speed will be over 28 knots, with a deadweight of 29.5 tonnes.

Accommodations in the main cabin include seating for 130 passengers, tables, a snack bar and an audio/visual passenger information center. Aft of the bar is a storage room. On the aft deck will be an open covered area with four passenger heads, a shower area and stowage for kayaks and camping gear. A two-level platform and handrails will be installed on the open bow deck for passenger viewing.

The second deck includes the pilothouse forward, followed by an enclosed cabin, with seating and tables for 60 passengers, and exterior seating for 72 passengers aft. Additional outside seating for 40 passengers will be located on the third deck.

A 180,000 Btu HVAC system heats and cools the cabins and pilothouse.

The new Dry Tortugas ferry includes many environmental features required by the National Park Service, including zero discharge of black & gray waste-water, energy-efficient LED lighting, heavy-metal free bottom paint, and zero-VOC vinyl marine film rather than paint on the exterior. Multiple solar panels, mounted on the roof, will produce 24-volt DC electricity stored in batteries and converted to power the vessel’s running lights and the pilothouse electronics.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

Most Popular