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Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Washington Island Ferry Line have signed an agreement to construct a new, year-round passenger/vehicle ferry for service across Wisconsin’s Death’s Door Passage.
The new ferry will be named Madonna, measuring 124-ft. length, 40-ft. beam and 10-ft. 8 in. draft. It will have capacity for as many as 28 vehicles and 150 passengers. The new ferry will be the largest in the Ferry Line fleet to-date. It is scheduled for delivery in late May 2020.
“We are pleased to build what is our third ferry for Washington Island,” says Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse. “All current ferry vessels were built in Sturgeon Bay – two by Peterson Builders and this will be our third here at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. Our past work is indicative of the quality and attention to detail the Ferry Line and all of our customers have come to expect from our seasoned workforce. This contract will add to the steady work relied upon by the hundreds of women and men we employ from across the region.”
“This opportunity to build yet another ferry vessel in a Door County shipyard is something we’re extremely proud of,” says Washington Island Ferry Line President Hoyt Purinton. “Built locally, this ferry – like our other vessels – will operate exclusively in Door County waters between Washington Island and the tip of the Door Peninsula.”
By Chari Rutledge
Plans are underway for the 2019 Washington Islands Birding Festival to be held May 16-19. The festival is under the auspices of the Washington Island Art and Nature Center, and is also sponsored by the Washington Island Ferry Line and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The festival features guided small group birding on Washington, Plum and Rock Islands. Our Islands are located on the Great Lakes flyway. Data collected on the Island shows that this weekend, in particular, usually promises the largest amount of bird activity. The 2018 festival bore that out with 139 species recorded by the 60 birders attending. The birders also enjoyed dinners and programs that gave them a chance to meet and get to know one another.