Nichols Brothers builds new passenger ferry for Wahkiakum County, US

24 February 2015 (Last Updated February 24th, 2015 18:30)

US-based Nichols Brothers Boatbuilders has completed construction of a steel-hulled, aluminum superstructure vessel built for Wahkiakum County in Washington, US.

Oscar

US-based Nichols Brothers Boatbuilders has completed construction of a steel-hulled, aluminum superstructure vessel built for Wahkiakum County in Washington, US.

This new, 115ft-long and 47.6ft-wide passenger ferry, Oscar, will replace the existing ferry.

Designed by Seattle’s Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), the new vessel will have the capacity to accommodate 100 passengers and 23 cars.

The new-build is nearly twice the size of the existing ferry, which can only carry 12 passenger cars.

Wahkiakum County Public Works director and county engineer Pete Ringen said: "While we don’t know what the future holds, with the expertise of Elliott Bay Design Group and great craftsmanship of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders / Ice Floe, we have helped secure the possibilities."

"We’re proud to play a role in helping provide this vital transportation link for the communities of Cathlamet and Westport."

Capable of cruising at speeds of up to 8k, the ferry features hydraulic steering instead of cable and chain steering, modern electronics, a passenger lounge and ADA-accessible restrooms.

Oscar is equipped with two Cummins QLS diesels that deliver 285HP at 1,800rpm, coupled to ZF Marine reversing reduction gears with two fixed-pitched propellers.

The vessel completed sea trials at Whidbey Island and is currently sailing towards Astoria. It will operate between ferry terminals in Cathlamet, Washington and Westport, Oregon, US.

EBDG project manager Curt Leffers said: "We’re proud to play a role in helping provide this vital transportation link for the communities of Cathlamet and Westport."

The vessel complies with the current US Coast Guard requirements.


Image: Wahkiakum County’s new passenger ferry, M/V OSCAR B. Photo: courtesy of Elliott Bay Design Group.