The ferry made a stop at Port Canaveral en route from a Gulf Coast shipyard where it was built to New York City, where it will enter service in 2022.
The ferry that stopped at Port Canaveral — named Sandy Ground — was built at the Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s Allanton shipyard in Panama City on the Gulf Coast. It then went to the company’s nearby shipyard in Port St. Joe for outfitting, testing and sea trials.
Dann Ocean Towing’s Sarah Dann is in the process of towing the ferry from the Port St. Joe shipyard around the Florida Keys and up the Eastern Seaboard to New York City. The trip will take about two weeks.
The 320-foot-long Sandy Ground has a capacity of 4,500 passengers and a crew of 16.
It is the second of three “Ollis-class” commuter and sightseeing ferries that Eastern Shipbuilding Group is building for the New York City Department of Transportation.
“This vessel honors our nation’s African American heritage, and will tell the story of the landmark Sandy Ground community,” Eastern Shipbuilding Group President Joey D’Isernia said.
The Sandy Ground is named after one of America’s first African American settlements, established by freed slaves on Staten Island’s South Shore nearly 200 years ago, which became the anchor for African Americans living on Staten Island.
Sandy Ground’s history as a freed slave community dates to 1828, when Capt. John Jackson, an African American ferryboat operator, became the first African American to o