Ferry

Ferry

[fer-ee]
Ferry, Jules, 1832-93, French statesman. A member of the government of national defense established after the defeat of Emperor Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), he later rose to prominence as minister of public instruction (1879-80, 1882). He was twice premier (1880-81, 1883-85). Ferry established the modern French educational system with universal, free, and compulsory education in the primary schools. He secularized the public schools, abolishing religious education in them and barring members of Roman Catholic orders as public-school teachers. Ferry is best known, however, as the builder of the French colonial empire. An exponent of imperialism, he was willing to cooperate with the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck in order to secure French expansion overseas. During his premiership the French occupied Tunis, entered Tonkin and Madagascar, and penetrated the regions of the Niger and the Congo. Ferry was overthrown after a temporary French defeat in Indochina. He was assassinated by a religious fanatic.

See study by T. F. Power (1944, repr. 1966).

ferry, vessel providing passage over a river, lake, or other body of water for passengers, vehicles, or freight; the term is also applied to the place where the crossing is made and, by extension, to overwater train or airplane transit. Ferries were especially important in the days before engineers learned to construct permanent bridges and tunnels across bodies of water. At first most ferries were small boats or rafts, propelled by oars or poles and sometimes assisted by sails. Some ferries today still make short passages by winching themselves back and forth along a chain fastened to the shore on both sides. Other ferries rely on the force of the current against the side of the boat to push the ferry. Most ferries for heavier traffic and longer passages are powered by diesel or diesel-electric engines, such as the largest ferry in the world, the GTS Finnjet; others, such as the Staten Island ferry in New York City, are steam powered. Where railroad bridges are impracticable, there are train ferries; these may use paddle wheels for maneuverability or may simply be barges pushed by tugs. The train ferry that made through service possible between London and Paris after 1936 was largely replaced by the Channel Tunnel in 1994. An innovation during the latter half of the 20th cent. was the "fast ferry," high-speed ferries that have become an important component of transportation systems around the globe. This alternative provides a critical link for commuters and travelers in many world regions. Such passenger-only or combination motor vehicle and passenger ferries are relied upon in coastal ports in Europe, Asia, and Australia. The designs of these ferries incorporate features of catamarans, hydrofoils, and air-cushion vehicles.

A ferry is a form of transport, usually a boat or ship, used to carry (or ferry) passengers and their vehicles across a body of water. Ferries are also used to transport freight (in lorries and sometimes unpowered freight containers) and even railroad cars. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services. A foot-passenger ferry with many stops, such as in Venice, is sometimes called a water bus or water taxi.

Ferries form a part of the public transport systems of many waterside cities and islands, allowing direct transit between points at a capital cost much lower than bridges or tunnels. However, ship connections of much larger distances (such as over long distances in water bodies like the Mediterranean Sea) may also be called ferry services, especially if they carry vehicles.

History

In ancient times

The profession of the ferryman is embodied in Greek mythology in Charon, the boatman who transported souls across the River Styx to the Underworld.

Speculation that a pair of oxen propelled a ship having a water wheel can be found in 4th century Roman literature “Anonymus De Rebus Bellicis”. Though impractical, there is no reason why it could not work and such a ferry, modified by using horses, was used in Lake Champlain in 19th century America. See “When Horses Walked on Water: Horse-Powered Ferries in Nineteenth-Century America" (Smithsonian Institution Press; Kevin Crisman, co-authored with Arthur Cohn, Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum).

Notable services

The busiest seaway in the world, the English Channel, connects Great Britain and mainland Europe sailing mainly to French ports, such as Calais, Boulogne, Cherbourg-Octeville, Caen, St Malo and Le Havre. Ferries from Great Britain also sail to Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Ireland. Some ferries carry mainly tourist traffic, but most also carry freight, and some are exclusively for the use of freight lorries.

Large cruiseferries sail in the Baltic Sea between Finland, Sweden, Germany and Estonia, and from Italy to Albania and Greece. In many ways, these ferries are like cruise ships, but they can also carry hundreds of cars on car decks. In Britain, car-carrying ferries are sometimes referred to as RORO (roll-on, roll-off) for the ease by which vehicles can board and leave.

In Australia, two Spirit of Tasmania ferries carry passengers and vehicles 300 kilometres across Bass Strait, which separates Tasmania from the Australian mainland. These run overnight but also include day crossings in peak time. Both ferries are based in the northern Tasmanian port city of Devonport and sail to Melbourne, Victoria.

In New Zealand, ferries connect Wellington in the North Island with Picton in the South Island, linking New Zealand's two main islands. The 92km route takes three hours, and is run by two companies - government-owned Interislander, and independent Bluebridge.

Hong Kong has the Star Ferry carry passengers across Victoria Harbour and the First Ferry carries travellers between Hong Kong Island to outlying islands like Cheung Chau, Lantau Island and Lamma Island.

Due to the numbers of large freshwater lakes and length of shoreline in Canada, many provinces and territories have ferry services. BC Ferries carries travellers between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland on the country's west coast. This ferry service operates to other islands including the Gulf Islands and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Canada's east coast has been home to numerous inter and intra provincial ferry and coastal services, including a large network operated by the federal government under CN Marine and later Marine Atlantic. Private and publicly owned ferry operations in eastern Canada include Marine Atlantic, serving the island of Newfoundland, as well as Bay, NFL, CTMA, Coastal Transport, and STQ to name but a few. Canadian waters in the Great Lakes once hosted numerous ferry services, however these have been reduced to those offered by Owen Sound Transportation and several smaller operations. There are also several commuter passenger ferry services operated in major cities, such as Metro Transit in Halifax, Toronto Island Ferry in Toronto and SeaBus in Vancouver.

Washington State Ferries operates the most extensive ferry system in the United States, with ten routes on Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca serving terminals in Washington and Vancouver Island. In fiscal year 1999, Washington State Ferries carried 11 million vehicles and 26 million passengers. The Staten Island Ferry in New York City, sailing between the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island, is the nation's single busiest ferry route by passenger volume. New York City also has a network of smaller ferries, or water taxis, that shuttle commuters along the Hudson River from locations in New Jersey and Northern Manhattan down to the midtown, downtown and Wall Street business centers.

Vehicle-carrying ferry services between mainland Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are operated by the The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority, which sails year-round between Woods Hole and Vineyard Haven as well as Hyannis and Nantucket. Seasonal service is also operated from Woods Hole to Oak Bluffs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. As there are no bridges or tunnels connecting the islands to the mainland, The Steamship Authority ferries in addition to being the only method for transporting private cars to or from the islands, also serves as the only link by which heavy freight and supplies such as food and gasoline can be trucked to the islands. Additionally, Hy-Line Cruises operates high speed catamaran service from Hyannis to both islands, as well as traditional ferries, and several smaller operations run seasonal passenger only service primarily geared towards tourist day-trippers from other mainland ports, including New Bedford, (New Bedford Fast Ferry) Falmouth, (Island Queen ferry and Falmouth Ferry) and Harwich (Freedom Cruise Line). The San Francisco Bay Area has several ferry services, such as the Blue & Gold Fleet, connecting with cities as far as Vallejo. The majority of ferry passengers are daily commuters and tourists. The only way to get to Alcatraz is by ferry.

Until the completion of the Mackinac Bridge in the 1950s, ferries were used for vehicle transportation between the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, across the Straits of Mackinac in the United States. Ferry service for bicycles continues across the straits for transport to Mackinac Island, where motorized vehicles are almost completely prohibited.

Types

Ferry designs depend on the length of the route, the passenger or vehicle capacity required, speed requirements and the water conditions the craft must deal with.

Double-ended

Double-ended ferries have interchangeable bows and sterns, allowing them to shuttle back and forth between two terminals without having to turn around. Well-known double-ended ferry systems include the Staten Island Ferry , Washington State Ferries , several boats on the North Carolina Ferry System , and the Lake Champlain Transportation Company. Most Norwegian fjord and coastal ferries are double-ended vessels. Some ferries in Sydney, Australia and British Columbia are also double-ended. In 2008, BC Ferries launched three of the largest double-ended ferries in the world.

Hydrofoil

Hydrofoils have the advantage of higher cruising speeds, succeeding hovercraft on some English Channel routes where the ferries now compete against the Eurotunnel and Eurostar trains that use the Channel Tunnel. Passenger-only hydrofoils also proved a practical, fast and relatively economical solution in the Canary Islands but were recently replaced by faster catamaran "high speed" ferries that can carry cars. Their replacement by the larger craft is seen by critics as a retrograde step given that the new vessels use much more fuel and foster the inappropriate use of cars in islands already suffering from the impact of mass tourism.

Hovercraft

Hovercraft were developed in the 1960s and 1970s to carry cars. The largest was the massive SRN4 which carried cars in its centre section with ramps at the bow and stern between England and France. The hovercraft was superseded by catamarans which are nearly as fast and are less affected by sea and weather conditions. Only one service now remains, a foot passenger service between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight run by Hovertravel.

Catamaran

Catamarans are normally associated with high-speed ferry services. Stena Line operates the largest catamarans in the world, the Stena HSS class, between the United Kingdom and Ireland. These waterjet-powered vessels, displacing 19,638 tonnes, are larger than most catamarans and can accommodate 375 passenger cars and 1,500 passengers. Other examples of these super-sizer catamarans are found in the Brittany Ferries fleet with the Normandie Express and the Normandie Vitesse.

Ro-ro

Roll-on/roll-off ferries (RORO) are large, conventional ferries named for the ease by which vehicles can board and leave.

Cruiseferry

A cruiseferry is a ship that combines the features of a cruise ship with a RoRo ferry.

Fast RoPax Ferry

Fast RoPax ferries are conventional ferries with a large garage intake and a relatively large passenger capacity, with conventional diesel propulsion and propellers that sail over . Pioneering this class of ferries was Attica Group, when it introduced Superfast I between Greece and Italy in 1995 through its subsidiary company Superfast Ferries.

Pontoon ferry

Pontoon ferries carry vehicles across rivers and lakes and are widely used in less-developed countries with large rivers where the cost of bridge construction is prohibitive. One or more vehicles are carried on a pontoon with ramps at either end for vehicles to drive on and off. Cable ferries (next section) are usually pontoon ferries, but pontoon ferries on larger rivers are motorised and able to be steered independently like a boat.

Cable ferry

Very short distances may be crossed by a cable or chain ferry, which is usually a pontoon ferry (see above), where the ferry is propelled along and steered by cables connected to each shore. Sometimes the cable ferry is human powered by someone on the boat. Reaction ferries are cable ferries that use the perpendicular force of the current as a source of power. Examples of a current propelled ferry are the four Rhine ferries in Basel, Switzerland . Cable ferries may be used in fast-flowing rivers across short distances. Cable ferries are referred to in Australia and New Zealand as "punts".

Free ferries operate in some parts of the world, such as at Woolwich in London, England (across the River Thames); in Amsterdam, Netherlands (across the IJ waterway); in New York Harbor, connecting Manhattan to Staten Island; along the Murray River in South Australia, and across many lakes in British Columbia. A cable ferry that charges a toll operates on the Rivière des Prairies between Laval-sur-le-Lac and Île Bizard in Quebec, Canada.

Air ferries

In the 1950s and 1960s, travel on an "air ferry" was possible—aeroplanes, often ex-military, specially equipped to take a small number of cars in addition to "foot" passengers. These operated various routes including between the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. Companies operating such services included Corsair.

The term is also applied to any "ferrying" by air, and is commonly used when referring to airborne military operations.

Docking

Ferry boats often dock at specialized facilities designed to position the boat for loading and unloading, called a ferry slip. If the ferry transports road vehicles or railway carriages there will usually be an adjustable ramp called an apron that is part of the slip. In other cases, the apron ramp will be a part of the ferry itself, acting as a wave guard when elevated and lowered to meet a fixed ramp at the terminus — a road segment that extends partially underwater.

First, shortest, largest

On 11 October 1811 inventor John Stevens' ship the Juliana, began operation as the first steam-powered ferry (service was between New York City, and Hoboken, New Jersey).

The world's shortest regular ferry route runs a scant few feet across the harbor of Edgartown, Massachusetts to the island of Chappaquiddick off Martha's Vineyard Island. Although it operates with no set schedule, it runs every day, hence its name On-Time.

The oldest ferry service in continuous operation is the Rocky Hill - Glastonbury Ferry, running between the towns of Rocky Hill and Glastonbury, Connecticut. Established in 1655, the ferry has run continuously since, only ceasing operation every winter when the river freezes over. The oldest continuously running salt water ferry service may be the Halifax/Dartmouth ferry, running between the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which has run year-round since 1752, and is currently run by the region's transit authority, Metro Transit.

Another contender for oldest ferry is the Mersey Ferries service from Liverpool to Birkenhead, England. There is evidence that there has been a ferry service over the river for over 800 years. Liverpool's city charter in 1207 specifies rights of passage across the river payable by a toll.

Two of the world's largest ferry systems are located in the Strait of Georgia, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, and Puget Sound, in the U.S. state of Washington. BC Ferries in British Columbia operates 36 vessels, visiting 47 ports of call, while Washington State Ferries owns 28 vessels, travelling to 20 ports of call around Puget Sound. The Sydney Ferries Corporation in Sydney, Australia operates 31 passenger ferries in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), carrying 18 million passengers annually. It operates catamarans and other types of ferries on these routes, with the most famous likely being the Circular Quay-Manly route. Between 1938 and 1974 this route operated the South Steyne, billed at the time as the largest and fastest ferry of its type. Sydney Ferries became an independent corporation owned by the government in 2004.

Some of world's busiest ferry routes include the Star Ferry in Hong Kong and the Staten Island Ferry in New York City.

Metrolink Queensland operates 21 passenger ferries on behalf of Brisbane City Council, 12 being single-hulled ferries and 9 CityCats (catamarans), along the Brisbane River from the University of Queensland through the city to Brett's Wharf.

World's Fastest Diesel Ferry

Austal’s 65 metre Auto Express catamaran ferry “Shinas”, built for the Sultanate of Oman, has achieved a record service speed of 52 knots during sea trials, making it the fastest diesel-powered vehicle-passenger ferry currently in commercial service. The vessel’s confirmed service speed of 52 knots exceeds contract requirements by one knot, with the vessel also reaching a peak speed of 55.9 knots (103.5 km/h). “Shinas” is the first of two identical vessels being built for the Sultanate of Oman at Austal’s facilities in Henderson, Australia. Each vessel will carry 208 passengers and 56 cars along a 180 nautical mile route between Shinas and Oman’s rugged Musandam Peninsular. The vessel has the capability to assist in search and rescue operations due to its helicopter landing facility, which is suitable for a medium class helicopter. Both vessels are powered by four MTU 20 cylinder 1163 series diesel engines each producing 6,500 kW and driving Rolls-Royce / Kamewa waterjets. The vessels meet Det Norske Veritas survey requirements and conform to the HSC code.

The full length vehicle deck allows space for 56 cars or 54 truck lane metres plus 40 cars with a deck clear height of over three metres. The vehicle deck aft can withstand axle loads of 9 tonnes (single wheel) or 12 tonne (dual wheel). The remainder of the main deck caters for maximum axle loads of 3 tonnes (single wheel). Lightweight structural fire protection, zoned sprinkler systems and hydrants ensure optimal fire safety during vehicle transport. As an added safety measure, the vessel has a medical transfer station accessible off the vehicle deck, offering a high level of medical equipment for patient transport. The vessel’s high operating speed is made possible by four MTU 20 cylinder 1163 series diesel engines, each producing 6,500 kW and driving Rolls-Royce / Kamewa waterjets.

Sustainability

With the price of oil at such high levels, and with increasing pressure from consumers for measures to tackle global warming, a number of innovations for energy and the environment were put forward at the Interferry conference in Stockholm. According to the company Solar Sailor, hybrid marine power and solar wing technology are suitable for use with ferries, private yachts and even tankers.

See also

References

External links

tr: Feribot

Search another word or see Ferryon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;