Michigan’s Moran Iron Works to build new ferry for Shepler’s

8 December 2014 (Last Updated December 8th, 2014 18:30)

Michigan's Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry has selected Onaway-based Moran Iron Works to build a new $3.8m high-speed ferry.

Michigan’s Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry has selected Onaway-based Moran Iron Works to build a new $3.8m high-speed ferry.

The ferry operator has said that this 85ft ferryboat is the first of its kind to be constructed in Michigan, reported Associated Press.

Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry CEO Bill Shepler was quoted by the press agency as saying: "The idea of building a climate-controlled ferry for our customers right here in Michigan instead of sending the work elsewhere really appealed to us."

"The idea of building a climate-controlled ferry for our customers right here in Michigan instead of sending the work elsewhere really appealed to us."

The new-build will be capable of accommodating 281 passengers and is expected to start operation in July 2015.

Construction of the vessel, to be named Miss Margy, is scheduled to begin in mid-January at the facility of Moran; however, works such as seat installation and painting will take place at Shepler’s facility in Mackinaw city.

This sixth addition to Shepler’s fleet will be designed by Seacraft Design in Sturgeon Bay and constructed in compliance with the US Coast Guard Subchapter K rules, Marinelog said.

Currently, the operator has a fleet of five passenger ferries and one cargo vessel, and the new one will be the largest among them.

With a maximum speed of 40mph, this all-aluminium ferry will feature an air-conditioned cabin and a ventilation system to remove interior condensation from windows, among others.