The newest addition to the Washington Island Ferry Line fleet is on track for May delivery. Work on the Madonna hit a crucial point last week, as the forward hull section was transported from Building 311 to the former Palmer Johnson construction shed at Second and Kentucky.
Bird’s eye view of the Madonna forward half just prior to moving. Hull steel work is well along, although more welding is required on interior framing and outer shell plating, prior to watertight testing, and then priming of all surfaces. Photo by Jim Legault.
One major milestone in construction will be the rollover of the bow and stern halves, using the large graving dock gantry crane. Immediately following turnover, the two halves will be welded as one unit, followed by installation of mechanical equipment, pumps and other pieces of considerable size or weight. Here, the bow section has been lifted by overhead crane and will be set on the transporter shown at left. Photo by Rich Ellefson.
The new Washington Island ferry Madonna hull is small enough to be constructed within Bay Shipbuilding’s large fabrication shed, but the total weight is significant. The hull was constructed in halves, with the bottom side up, for easier construction of framing and hull plating. Shown here, the forward section is being moved from this building to another construction building. The aft half remains, with a view into what will become the engine room space. Exhaust lines, bilge and fire mains, and other engine room piping are already in place. Upon rollover, January 6, engine and reduction gear units, port and starboard, will be set in their approximate positions while painting, wiring and insulating are undertaken. Photo by Jim Legault.
Work has simultaneously advanced on a section of superstructure that will become the main deck pedestal, with stairways fore and aft leading to the upper passenger deck and pilot house, openings for engine room access, toilet and freight storage, with an enclosed cabin on the mezzanine level. When installed this section will help support and stiffen the upper deck structure. Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding began setting frames in September, and with two shifts of workers assigned, rapid progress has been made on the vessel’s steelwork. Photo by Rich Ellefson.
The forward hull section of the Madonna, soon to be part of the Washington Island Ferry fleet, is transported from Building 311 to the former Palmer Johnson construction shed at Second and Kentucky. The two halves of the ferry hull are nearly complete, said Dick Purinton, Washington Island Ferry president. During the week of Jan. 6, the two sides will be turned upright by the graving dock crane, welded into one unit, then rolled back indoors for more construction, including painting, installing propulsion machinery, piping and wiring. The project is on track for delivery at the end of May.