Workers at US Workboats successfully “flipped” the 48,000-pound hull of the M/V Ocracoke Express Monday, moving construction of the N.C. Ferry Division’s first passenger-only vessel into its final stages.
The aluminum catamaran-style hull was assembled upside down over the past several months while the passenger cabin and pilot house were constructed separately. Now that the hull has been flipped, workers will install engines and steering systems and assemble the entire ferry. US Workboats expects to deliver the vessel to the Ferry Division in September.
“This is a major milestone in the vessel construction,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “We’re looking forward to showing it off to the public this fall.”
The $4.15 million M/V Ocracoke Express will be a 98-passenger ferry that will take pedestrians from the Hatteras Inlet Terminal directly to the Silver Lake Terminal in the heart of Ocracoke Village. The project is designed to ease visitor access to Ocracoke Island and alleviate summertime congestion on the ferry system’s popular vehicle ferry.