The digital shipbuilder Incat Crowther has signed a contract with the US shipbuilder Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation for designing a new 300-passenger high-speed catamaran for the US operator Yankee Freedom.

The new ordered passenger catamaran “Yankee Freedom IV” with expected delivery in 2026, will replace the 250-passenger “Yankee Freedom III” which was also designed by Incat Crowther.

Like its predecessor the new “Yankee Freedom IV” will also provide passenger transport service on the 70-mile route between Key West in Florida and the Dry Tortugas National Park.

On 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.

The newbuild “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.

In a bid to further reduce the vessel’s environmental footprint beyond EPA standards the “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.

“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,” Grant Pecoraro, Incat Crowther’s US managing director, commented on the project.

When construction is completed, “Yankee Freedom IV” will join the more than 130 Incat Crowther designed and US-built passenger ferries now in operation in the region, as the company mentions.