Eastern Shipbuilding Group hosted the keel authentication ceremony for a new 302-foot auto and passenger ferry March 9 at its Allanton Shipyard in Panama City, Fla. The ferry, ESG Hull 228, is being built for the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. Steel cutting began in January, and delivery is expected for 2024.
The ferry will operate between Bridgeport, Conn., and Port Jefferson, N.Y.
The ferry is based on the P.T. Barnum and Grand Republic auto and passenger ferries that Eastern Shipbuilding Group previously constructed for McAllister Towing & Transportation Company, owners of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. Eastern has constructed more than a dozen vessels for long-time customer McAllister.
“We have been doing business with McAllister for more than 30 years,” said ESG Chairman and CEO Joey D’Isernia. “We are very proud that we have earned their trust with a gold standard that repeat customers like Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company and McAllister expect from a shipyard. We look forward to adding another state-of-the-art auto and passenger ferry to their fleet.”
“The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company is pleased to renew our long-standing relationship with Eastern Shipbuilding Group in building a new state-of-the-art vehicle and passenger ferry for service across Long Island Sound,” said Fred Hall, vice president and general manager of Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. “The new build will join a fleet which includes two other vessels previously built by Eastern: the P.T. Barnum (1999) and the Grand Republic (2003). We look forward to the arrival of an exceptional high-quality vessel that will serve our customers, our crews and our company for many years to come.”
Eastern Shipbuilding Group operates three shipyards on the Florida Gulf Coast.
Caption for photo: Due for delivery in 2024, the auto and passenger ferry will operate between Bridgeport, Conn., and Port Jefferson, N.Y. (Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group)