SOMERSET, Mass – October 26, 2017 – The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has received the first of two new 150-passenger, high-speed catamarans from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Funded by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the vessels will operate year-round commuter service in Boston Harbor, in addition to two high-speed ferries built by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard in 1997.
Designed by Incat Crowther, the all-aluminum ferry is 90 feet LOA, 28.8 feet abeam, and draws approximately four feet loaded. The vessel is powered by twin Caterpillar C-32, 12-cylinder, EPA-rated Tier 3 diesel engines, each delivering 1450 Bhp at 2100 rpm. The engines turn a pair of Hamilton HM 571 water-jets through ZF 3050 gearboxes. The ferry’s top speed is 29 knots with a fully-loaded deadweight of more than 19 tonnes, said shipyard officials. The two engine rooms each house an RA Mitchell 47kW generator.
Compliant with the United States Access Board’s accessibility guidelines for passenger vessels (PVAG), the boat is designed for boarding passengers from the bow at integrated MBTA facilities. Entrance to the main cabin is through the bow doors forward or the port and starboard side doors.
The main cabin seats 110 passengers and includes a full-service concession, video entertainment system, two heads and HVAC. A ticket counter and luggage storage area are forward. Interior sound levels are about 68 dB. The open foredeck has room for 10 bicycles.
The open second deck, aft of the wheelhouse seats 40 passengers. A fixed canopy covers half of the open deck. Freedman seats have been installed in the cabin and custom fabricated Gladding-Hearn seats on the upper deck.
Throughout the vessel is an automated passenger information system that integrates audible, textual messages, satellite television on five LCD monitors, three exterior destination signs and an audio induction-loop system for the hearing impaired.