Expected to arrive in Juneau Spring 2004
February 16, 2004
Feb. 5, 2004 - Photo courtesy Alaska DOT
Phil Grasser, Marine Engineering Manager, noted that a four-day dry-docking of the vessel followed by a three-day Acceptance Trial are the remaining significant events needed before the Marine Highway will certify Delivery Acceptance of the new ship. Shortly thereafter, the Fairweather will begin a three-week delivery voyage through the Panama Canal before its official acceptance in Juneau in mid- March.
The MV Fairweather will be the Alaska Marine Highway System's first fast vehicle ferry. The Fairweather is expected to arrive in Juneau Sping 2004. The main deck will have interior seating for 150 passengers in the observation lounge and 109 in the midship area, as well as exterior seating in the solarium. The interior space will have a combination of reclining airline-style seats and table arrangements, with dedicated areas for work/study, video games and a full service snack bar. The cargo deck will hold 35 vehicles. Service speed: 32 knots.
The Fairweather's designer is Nigel Gee & Associates (NGA), a British naval architecture firm that has many years of high-speed ship design and build experience. The Fairweather will be powered by four diesel engines and four water jets. The hull form is a 73-meter catamaran that has been shown to provide the highest transport efficiency of any high-speed ferry of this size.
The name Fairweather was nominated by Alyeska Central School fourth grader Wesley Tyrrell who won an essay writing contest (pdf) to name the new ferry. More than 700 elementary students in grades two through six participated statewide in the contest at the school level and will receive a certificate recognizing their participation. The essays were chosen from among ten finalists by the Alaska Lt. Governor, the House Speaker, and the Senate President.
Derecktor Shipyards of Mamaroneck, New York, was awarded a contract by DOT&PF in late February 2002 to construct the MV Fairweather. Derecktor's bid of $67.9 million (for two vessels) was within 4 percent of ADOT&PF's engineer's estimate. Derecktor Shipyards will construct another high-speed ferry for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS). This ferry, to be named the M/V Chenega, is the second of the two-vessel contract.
The first vessel, the M/V Fairweather, will travel between Juneau and Sitka, Haines and Skagway in southeast Alaska. The M/V Chenega will sail in the Prince William Sound area of south-central Alaska, connecting the ports of Cordova, Valdez, and Whittier.
Source of News Release & Photograph: