Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI) served as the liaison for the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) for the conversion of the M/V ESSEX, an auto/passenger service vessel, to the M/V FREEDOM, a passenger only service vessel. BHGI provided design and construction support throughout the extensive conversion project, which increased the vessel’s maximum passenger capacity from 149 to 600. BHGI was responsible for the bid package development, assisted in contract negotiations and provided the preliminary and detail design prior to the construction phase. In the capacity of construction support, BHGI was responsible for ship inspections and reviewing the builder’s construction schedule. BHGI was responsible for reviewing recommending or rejecting payment applications, change order requests and substitutions. A formal written report regarding the current status of all aspects of the project was provided to the DRPA by BHGI on a monthly basis. BHGI was responsible for the conducting of sea trials and dock trials, and incorporating the resulting documentation into the project records, wherefore, the project records with digital inspection photos as reference were then released to the DRPA. All correspondence related to the project, shop drawings and submittals, returned United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved plans, as built drawings and schedules. The project included upgrading the vessel from the requirements for carriage of 149 passengers (Subchapter T of 46CFR) to the requirements for carriage of 600 passengers (Subchapter K of 46CFR). This upgrading necessitated replacement of most of the machinery, and coupled with the installation of a new superstructure, resulted in an essentially “new” vessel.
Dimensions:100’ x 42’ x 10’Capacity: 600 PassengersPropulsion: Two (2) Caterpillar 3406C, 322 HP @ 1800RPMGears: Two (2) Twin Disc MG 541C at 3:1Propellers: Kahlenberg 4 Blade, 44x30 StainlessClassification: USCG Subchapter K, Structural Design to ABS River RequirementsDesigner: Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. for the conversionBuilder: Blount Boats, Inc. for the conversionOwner: Delaware River Port Authority