Incat Crowther is to design a new 300-passenger, high-speed catamaran for US operator Yankee Freedom after being commissioned by US shipbuilder Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation.
The new vessel, named Yankee Freedom IV, will provide services on the 70-mile route between Key West in Florida and the Dry Tortugas National Park. It will replace the current 250-passenger vessel Yankee Freedom III, which operates on the same route.
Yankee Freedom IV’s main deck will accommodate up to 130 passengers and will feature a snack bar and an audio-visual passenger information centre. Outside on the aft main deck the vessel will provide passengers with a covered area for passengers, as well as a shower area and stowage for kayaks and camping gear. The bow will feature a passenger viewing area.
The vessel’s second deck will feature enclosed seating and tables for 60 passengers, as well as exterior seating for 72 passengers. The upper open-air deck will provide additional seating for 40 passengers.
In order to reduce the vessel’s environmental footprint beyond US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, Yankee Freedom IV will be fitted with exhaust gas treatment for its generating sets, as well as solar panels, energy-efficient LED lighting and a zero-discharge black and grey water system. The vessel will be powered by two EPA Tier 4-compliant diesel engines.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Gladding Hearn and Yankee Freedom on this exciting project,” said Grant Pecoraro, Incat Crowther’s US managing director. “They are both wonderful organisations and it is our pleasure to collaborate with them to bring this new vessel into service. We are grateful for the confidence they have in Incat Crowther to be their design partner once again.”
Incat Crowther, which has designed more than 130 US-built passenger ferries in operation in the region, is expected to deliver Yankee Freedom IV in 2026.