Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to build new ferry for Washington Island fleet

leader of ship repair and maintenance companies
May 14, 2019

STURGEON BAY, WISCONSIN: 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.”

Purinton added, “Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s distinguished work in the past for the Ferry Line, and the quality and breadth of skills represented within the yard, were strong factors in our decision to once again partner for this ferry project.”

Similar to the icebreaker Arni J. Richter, launched by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in 2003, this newest ferry design will also incorporate ice capabilities in addition to adding significant vehicle capacity throughout the year. Twin CAT-C32 main engines will provide 1600 maximum horsepower while its stainless propellers and shafts as well as stout framing make it ice-capable. Outdoor, upper deck seating and an indoor, climate-controlled cabin will be available to passengers, along with restrooms on two decks. Bow and stern ramps with wide gates will allow easy vehicle loading. It will have an overhead of 15-ft., sufficient to transport high-clearance specialty equipment (such as portable asphalt plants) as needed.

“We’ve worked with Naval Architect Mark Pudlo and his firm SeaCraft Design LLC, also of Sturgeon Bay, for design and engineering details,” says Purinton. “We are fortunate both designer and builder are close at hand, a real plus for our company in this process.”

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding will immediately begin the construction process by cutting steel and placing orders for engines, transmissions and other key components.

Media Contact:

Melissa Wollering, Fincantieri Marine Group, Senior Manager – Communications at 715.587.2993 melissa.wollering@us.fincantieri.com

About Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding

Located in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) is an industry leader in the construction, conversion and repair of large ships – tracing its rich history back more than 100 years. The diversified FBS portfolio includes all types of vessels including articulated tug-barge units, dredges and dredging support equipment, self-unloading carriers, ferries and offshore support vessels. On the repair side, FBS is expert at managing critical deadlines in the repair and sustainment of bulk carriers and other ships of the Great Lakes Winter Fleet.

Shipbuilding facilities at the 63-acre plant include a large graving dock, a U.S. Navy-certified drydock, and lifting capacity to meet the most demanding requirements. Erection buildings are climate-controlled and equipped with sophisticated computer-aided manufacturing equipment. Fincantieri’s skilled workforce has an average of more than 20 years of shipyard construction experience, in-house engineering, and a management team focused on client satisfaction and on-time delivery.

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is an operating unit of Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG), the United States division of global shipbuilding giant Fincantieri. fincantieribayshipbuilding.com

About Fincantieri

Fincantieri is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and has built more than 7,000 vessels in over 230 years of maritime history. It is a leader in cruise ship design and construction and a reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry’s sectors, from naval to offshore vessels, from high-complexity special vessels and ferries to mega-yachts, ship repairs and conversions, systems and components production and after-sales services. Fincantieri operates in the United States through its subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG). This company, which serves commercial and government customers in the USA, including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, has three shipyards (Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Fincantieri ACE Marine) located in the Great Lakes.


About Washington Island Ferry Line, LLC

Washington Island Ferry Line’s operations began with two wooden ferries purchased in April of 1940. Today, steel hulls of modern design meet a year-around, daily schedule of service. Washington Island, Wisconsin is a 35-square mile island and home to just over 700 residents. Homeport for the Ferry Line is Detroit Harbor, located 4.5 miles from the tip of the Door Peninsula. Washington Island becomes a popular summer destination, with thousands of seasonal Island homeowners, day-visitors and those who travel through Washington Island to reach Rock Island State Park for hiking or camping. Visitors board ferries at Northport Pier, at the northern end of State Highway 42, an approximately 1-hour drive north of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. In addition to providing an enjoyable experience on Lake Michigan waters, Washington Island ferries perform essential, lifeline service by carrying all varieties of cargo, mail and package freight, in addition to passengers and vehicles. Customer parking near the Northport dock is available to those who wish to board on foot for enjoyment of Island summer activities, such as bicycling or touring. Ferry schedules, rates and related Island information can be found at wisferry.com



Headquarters Washington DC
655 15th St NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20005
Fincantieri Marine Group - GBO
2465 Marina Circle
Green Bay, WI 54304
ACE Marine
201 S Pearl Street
Green Bay, WI 54303
Marinette Marine
1600 Ely Street
Marinette, WI 54143
Bay Shipbuilding
605 N 3rd Avenue
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235