Cape May-Lewes Ferry To Get NEW Ship!

In a press release from March 9th, the Delaware River and Bay Authority, or DRBA for short, made a big announcement that they are putting together a team to help design a concept for a new vessel for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.

Cape May-Lewes Ferry To Get NEW Ship!

Cape May-Lewes Ferry To Get NEW Ship!

The DRBA has hired Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), a Naval Architecture/Marine Engineering firm, to lead a team of consultants to provide planning and analysis that will lead to the eventual design concept for the new vessel.

“During the initial phase, the EBDG team’s primary assignment will be to review, revise, and redevelop the Cape May – Lewes Ferry Marine Master Plan, which was produced in 2008. The Plan will be developed in coordination with DRBA staff representatives and informed by organization and community stakeholders.”

Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations says the main reason for a new ship is “to improve service and reduce operating costs while laying the foundation for sustainable ferry operations for the next generation of our customers.”

The EBDG team will study various vessel characteristics to see what would work well in our waters. Such things they will study will be smaller sizes ships, faster vessels, alternate propulsion systems and environmentally friendly considerations (alternative fuels, hybrids, etc.).

The DRBA will expect EBDG to deliver the Phase 1 – Marine Master Planning services, in one year time. After this they have the option of hiring them back for up to three years to see the plan to the construction phase of the project.

Also see: Found Unexploded WWII Ordnances Detonated On Cape May Beach

Realistically, if all goes to plan, we could see a new ship in about 4 years time.

For those saying, “why so long?” It takes time to built a ship from scratch. Most of the ships we use today are 40+ years old. The designers want to make sure that this new ship will last as long.

One interesting tidbit for those who like history. One of the 1966 Cape May ferries, MV Cape Henlopen, still sails today out of Long Island!

MV Cape Henlopen is one of the oldest operating ferries in the world and one of the few ships who served in World War II still in active service!

If you want to watch a history video about the ship, click the link below.