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Fire Island Ferries Takes Delivery of Unique Cargo Vessel

Fire Island Maid
Courtesy EBDG

Published Mar 15, 2023 9:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

Fire Island Ferries has taken delivery of a custom bow-ramp ferry purpose-built for hauling vehicles and freight from its pier in Bay Shore to the string of vacation communities on Fire Island. 

The new Fire Island Maid was designed by Seattle-based EBDG and built by Louisiana-based Metal Shark at its commercial yard in Bayou La Batre, Alabama (formerly Horizon Shipbuilding). 

The vehicle ferry is steel-hulled with an aluminum superstructure, and it has a reinforced cargo deck for supporting fully laden concrete trucks and other concentrated heavy loads, up to a total of 50 tons. Its narrow, tower-like deckhouse occupies the starboard quarter and provides enough space for two crewmembers. The ferry is designed for six passengers, with in-vehicle accommodations during the brief transit. The vessel's lightship weight is just 160,000 pounds, so it can be hauled out with an existing boatlift.

"We are excited to add Fire Island Maid to our fleet of vessels. EBDG listened and provided a more efficient structure and arrangement. I know this new ferry will make a difference for our passengers and shipping customers," said Dave Anderson, the General Manager of Fire Island Ferries.

Fire Island Ferries has been carrying passengers and freight between Bay Shore, Long Island and the many communities of Fire Island since 1948. It is the largest ferry service operator to and from Long Island's famous vacation destination. Though Fire Island has a vehicle bridge, it has no paved roads, and roadways between its communities are reserved for government and emergency vehicles only; the ferry service is its primary connection to and from the outside world.