Incat Crowther has been commissioned by US shipbuilder Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation to design a new 300-passenger, high-speed catamaran for US operator Yankee Freedom.

The new vessel, Yankee Freedom IV,will replace the 250-passenger Yankee Freedom III, which was also designed by Incat Crowther. Like its predecessor, Yankee Freedom IV will provide service on the 70-mile route between Key West in Florida and the Dry Tortugas National Park.

The commissioning of Yankee Freedom IV reinforces Incat Crowther’s position as one of the most trusted passenger ferry designers in North America. When construction is complete,Yankee Freedom IV will join the more than 130 Incat Crowther designed and US-built passenger ferries now in operation in the region.

The vessel’s main deck will transport up to 130 passengers and will feature tables as well as a snack bar with an attached storage room, and an audio-visual passenger information centre. The aft main deck will feature an open, covered area for passengers as well as a shower area and stowage for kayaks and camping gear. Passengers will be able to enjoy sweeping views while on board via a passenger viewing area on the open bow deck.

Yankee Freedom IV’s second deck will feature enclosed seating and tables for 60 passengers, as well as exterior seating for 72 passengers. Seating for an additional 40 passengers will be located on the open-air upper deck.

In a bid to further reduce the vessel’s environmental footprint beyond EPA standards, Yankee Freedom IV will be fitted with exhaust gas treatment for its generating sets, solar panels, energy efficient LED lighting and a zero-discharge black and grey water system. In addition, heavy-metal-free bottom paint and zero-VOC vinyl marine film will be used on the exterior instead of paint.

Yankee Freedom IV will be capable of reaching top speeds of 28 knots and will be powered by a pair of MTU 12V4000M65R EPA Tier 4-compliant diesel engines.

Commenting on the project, Grant Pecoraro, Incat Crowther’s US Managing Director said, “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Gladding Hearn and Yankee Freedom on this exciting project. They are both wonderful organizations and it is our pleasure to collaborate with them to bring this new vessel into service. We are grateful for the confidence they have in Incat Crowther to be their design partner once again.”

Delivery of Yankee Freedom IV is expected to take place in 2026.