Bay Ship to Build New Washington Island Ferry

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and the Washington Island Ferry Line announced the signing of an agreement for the local shipyard to construct a new, year-round passenger/vehicle ferry for service across the “Death’s Door Passage.” The new ferry, to be named the Madonna, after a schooner that sailed from Washington Island’s harbors over 100 years ago, will be 124-feet in length with a capacity for as many as 28 vehicles and 150 passengers. As such, the vessel will be the largest in the ferry line fleet to date. Similar to the icebreaker, Arni J. Richter, launched at the Sturgeon Bay yard in 2003, the newest ferry design will also incorporate ice capabilities in addition to adding significant vehicle capacity throughout the year. Outdoor, upper deck seating and and indoor, climate-controlled cabin will be available to passengers, along with rest rooms on two decks. Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding will immediately begin the construction process by cutting steel and placing orders for engines, transmissions and other key components. The third Washington Island Ferry to be built at Bay Ship, the Madonna is scheduled for delivery in late May of 2020.

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