The Fleet of the Block Island Ferry Company
The goal of Interstate Navigation Company is to provide safe, convenient and reliable lifeline transportation to residents and visitors of Block Island. Our vessels provide frequent year-round service for automobiles, trucks and passengers, freight and US Mail. Our vessel crews are U.S. Coast Guard certified and are committed to the safety of our passengers and cargo.
The passenger/vehicle ferry BLOCK ISLAND was built in 1997 by Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, Florida exclusively for Interstate Navigation Company. The vessel was designed by John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc., and is USCG, Subchapter “K” certified for 1000 passengers. The vessel was designed for year-round operation on the Point Judith to Block Island route, with particular attention paid to winter operations. The vessel features (2) EMD diesel propulsion engines for a total of 4000 HP. In 2009, the vessel’s electrical generators were renewed with new John Deere marine diesel engines. The vessel is 208 feet in length, 98 gross tons and features a service speed of 16.5 knots. The vessel, which features excellent sea keeping capabilities and offers the passengers a comfortable ride, may carry 38 automobiles, and utilizes a three-lane configuration for the carriage of commercial trucks and vehicles. At the time of original construction, the vessel was fitted with a wheelchair power stair lift for passengers with a disability or needing assistance. The passenger lounge on the vessel features a food and beverage concession, four satellite flat screen televisions, and comfortable table and bench seating for 300 passengers.
The high speed ferry ATHENA was acquired by Interstate Navigation in the spring of 2006. The Company purchased ATHENA with the intent of providing a vessel that could transport its customers from Pt. Judith to Old Harbor in half the travel time (30 minutes), as its existing traditional ferry fleet. The all aluminum catamaran, built in 2001, was constructed by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. of Somerset, MA, to a design by Incat of Sydney, Australia. She is powered by (4) Caterpillar 3412E marine diesel engines, coupled to Hamilton Waterjets and delivering a total of 4,400 HP with a service speed of 30 knots. The vessel which has a passenger capacity of 250 features an active trim tab (ride control) system manufactured by Maritime Dynamics (MDI). She is USCG, Subchapter “K” certified, 99 feet in length, breadth of 30.5 feet and 88 gross tons. The passenger cabins on the vessel feature a food and beverage concession, LCD satellite flat screen televisions, comfortable airline style seating as well as table and bench seating. The wheelhouse features state of art navigational equipment as well as full electronic control of the engines and associated systems. The vessel is equipped with ramps for passengers with a disability or needing assistance. The passenger ferry ATHENA operates a full seasonal schedule beginning Memorial Day weekend and running through Columbus Day weekend.
The high-speed ferry ISLANDER was acquired by Interstate Navigation in the spring of 2012.The Company acquired ISLANDER with the intent of establishing a high-speed ferry service from downtown Newport, RI to Old Harbor, Block Island in half the travel time, of the former traditional ferry Nelseco (1 hr. vs. 2 hrs.). The aluminum catamaran was constructed in 2000 by Yank Marine, Inc. of Tuckhoe, NJ, and was designed by Blanke Marine Services, Inc. Interstate Navigation purchased the vessel after she was dry-docked at a shipyard in Savannah, GA. During the winter of 2012/2013, Interstate engaged in a complete refurbishment of the vessel’s hull and superstructure, and a complete rebuild of the propulsion and vital systems. The ISLANDER was delivered to New England in June 2013, and began passenger ferry service to Block Island. Under her former ownership, the vessel operated extensively as a commuter ferry between New Jersey & New York, and then later as a ferry on inter-island routes in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The vessel is powered by (4) Caterpillar 3412E marine diesel engines, coupled to Hamilton Waterjets and delivering a total of 4,400 HP with a service speed of 28 knots. The ISLANDER is USCG Subchapter “K” certified, 90 feet in length, breadth of 32 feet, 96 gross tons with a passenger capacity of 300. The air conditioned/heated passenger cabins on the vessel feature a food and beverage concession, LCD flat screen satellite televisions, comfortable airline style seating as well as limited table and bench seating. The wheelhouse features state of the art navigational equipment as well as full electronic control of the engines and associated systems. The vessel is accessible for passengers with disabilities or requiring assistance. The exterior decks of the vessel feature bench seating on all sides of the cabin, as well as the uppermost deck. The passenger ferry ISLANDER operates a full seasonal schedule with several departures daily from Perrotti Park in Newport and Block Island beginning in June and running through Labor Day weekend
The passenger/vehicle ferry ANNA C. was built in 1986 by Eastern Marine Shipyard in Panama City, Florida exclusively for Interstate Navigation Company owner John H. Wronowski. The vessel was designed by John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc., and is USCG, Subchapter “K” certified for 1285 passengers. The ANNA C. was originally designed to operate as the “winter boat”, and ran year-round on the Block Island run, until the ferry BLOCK ISLAND went into service in 1997. The ANNA C. was originally considered to be an improved design, from that of her near sister ship CAROL JEAN, which had served as the previous winter vessel. The ANNA C. was built with more horsepower, enhanced maneuvering characteristics, a greater length for increased vehicle capacity and insulated passenger cabins. The vessel features (3) Cummins diesel propulsion engines for a total of 3750 HP. The vessel is 190 feet in length, 98 gross tons, and features a service speed of 16.5 knots. The vessel may carry 35 automobiles, and utilizes a two-lane configuration for the carriage of commercial trucks and vehicles. The passenger cabins on the vessel feature food and beverage concessions, table and bench seating and standard bench style seating on the exterior decks.
The passenger/vehicle ferry CAROL JEAN was built in 1984 by Eastern Marine Shipyard in Panama City, Florida exclusively for Interstate Navigation Company, beginning service in June 1984. The vessel was designed by John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc., and is USCG, Subchapter “K” certified for 1124 passengers. The CAROL JEAN was originally designed to provide seasonal (spring/summer/fall) service to Block Island from Pt. Judith. She also became known as “the Island Boat” as the vessel originated and ended her daily schedule at Old Harbor, where she lays overnight through the present day. In 1984 and 1985 as the island’s transportation needs increased, the operating season of the CAROL JEAN increased to include portions of the winter months. In 2004, she returned to Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City, FL for an extensive refit which included new propulsion engines and drivelines, new paint systems and a remodeled primary passenger cabin with a focus on passenger comfort. The vessel features (3) Cummins diesel engines for a total of 3600 HP. The vessel is 170 feet in length, 88 gross tons, and operates at a service speed of 16.5 knots. The vessel may carry 32 automobiles, and utilizes a two-lane configuration for the carriage of commercial trucks and vehicles. The passenger cabins on the vessel feature more modern seating upgrades and amenities, food and beverage concessions and standard bench style seating on the exterior decks. The improved spaces and enhanced maneuvering characteristics make the CAROL JEAN a more passenger comfort oriented vessel.
Interstate Navigation Company owner John H. Wronowski began construction of the passenger/vehicle ferry MANITOU in 1969 at Thames Shipyard and Repair Company in New London, CT. The vessel was launched in 1969, and construction was completed in 1970. The vessel was designed by naval architect Robert S. Simons. At the time of her delivery, she was billed as the largest USCG, Subchapter “T” certified vessel ever to be built, and represented the “new generation” of marine transportation of passengers, vehicles and freight to Block Island from the mainland. The vessel began service in the spring of 1970 on the Pt. Judith to Block Island run, operating from the end of the State Pier in Galilee. The MANITOU replaced the ferry SPRIGG CAROL as the year-round vessel. The vessel originally side loaded vehicles and passengers in Pt. Judith and Block Island. In 1971, the vessel was fitted with a stern loading ramp (a part of the original design) and further improved the Company’s ability to efficiently transport trucks and automobiles to Block Island. In 1971, the company also installed the land based stern loading ramps first on Block Island, followed by Pt. Judith. The ferry MANITOU ran full time, every day as the year-round vessel until 1985, when she was relieved part time by the CAROL JEAN. She was later replaced as the year-round vessel in 1986 by the ferry ANNA C. She became a seasonal vessel (April through October) carrying passengers, autos, trucks and freight opposite the CAROL JEAN. When the ferry BLOCK ISLAND went into service in June of 1997, the MANITOU became the standby/reserve vessel, until she returned to service on the Newport to Block Island run for the summers of 2000 through 2003 and 2008. The MANITOU has served since 2004 as the standby/reserve vessel, with several brief returns to the Newport run in relief of the ferry NELSECO. The vessel is USCG, Subchapter “K” certified for 302 passengers, 100 feet in length, 97 gross tons, and the vessel’s (2) Cummins diesel propulsion engines (1000 HP) deliver a service speed of 12.5 knots.