New Brunswick

New Grand Manan ferry hits water

Grand Manan's new ferry has been launched at the Florida shipyard where it is being constructed for the New Brunswick island.

Grand Manan's new ferry has been launched at the Florida shipyard where it is being constructed for the province.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. said in a news release that it put the 82-car Grand Manan Adventure into the water Friday in Panama City, Fla.

Work will continue on the interior of the $65-million US vessel before it goes through sea trials and is brought north in May.

The new ferry will run from North Head, Grand Manan, to Blacks Harbour on the New Brunswick mainland.

The vessel will become the main transportation link to and from the island, and the Grand V, built in 1990, will become the summer back-up ferry.

The Grand Manan IV, built in 1965, made her last regular run in September, but will be in Blacks Harbour as the back-up ferry until the Grand Manan Adventure arrives.

The Grand Manan Adventure will operate year-round, increasing daily vehicle capacity to 1,000 from 630 vehicles in the summer when both ferries run, and to 640 from 480 vehicles in winter with one running.

The release said the new ferry is on budget and on schedule.