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Eastern Shipbuilding Group Launches Long Island Ferry

Posted on May 6, 2024

On Friday, May 3rd, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. (ESG) successfully launched the ferry LONG ISLAND (ESG Hull 228) at its Allanton Shipyard in Panama City, FL. The new passenger and auto ferry is destined to operate between Bridgeport, CT, and Port Jefferson, NY, traversing the Long Island Sound. The vessel was christened by Rosemary McAllister, Director of Strategy, and attended by representatives from vessel owners Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, a subsidiary of McAllister Towing.

“This launch is a testament to the dedication and expertise of our team at Eastern Shipbuilding Group,” said Joey D’Isernia, CEO, and Chairman of ESG. “We are honored to partner with our friends at McAllister Towing and contribute to enhancing the transportation infrastructure for the residents and tourists of Long Island. This ferry will not only serve as a vital link between communities, but also exemplify our commitment to delivering excellence to our valued customers.”

The ferry LONG ISLAND, measuring 302 feet, is designed to accommodate both vehicles and passengers, and is designed with several enhancements including Tier IV main engines, increased crew capacity, and an upgraded furniture package. Scheduled for delivery later this year, this state-of-the-art vessel will join a fleet that includes two other Eastern-built ferries: the P.T. BARNUM (1999) and the GRAND REPUBLIC (2003). McAllister Towing has been a longstanding partner with ESG, having commissioned more than a dozen vessels from the shipbuilder.

The Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company provides safe, scenic, and relaxing transit across Long Island Sound for hundreds of thousands of passengers and cars every year.  The addition of the ferry LONG ISLAND will upgrade and expand the service.  Buck McAllister, the President of the ferry company, said “P.T. Barnum, the founder of the ferry, once said that the noblest art is that of making others happy.  All of those who have worked to make the ferry service what it is today can be very proud of their role helping drivers on the I-95 and Long Island Expressway.   Eastern Shipbuilding has provided our company with over a dozen high quality vessels and transformed the maritime services we can offer.  We are very thankful to Eastern Shipbuilding and the D’Isernia family for the happiness this new vessel will bring to our employees and customers for generations to come.”  The addition of the LONG ISLAND will help ensure that a three-vessel schedule can be provided for the peak periods when demand is most critical, a most welcome improvement.


Ferry LONG ISLAND – Hull 228              

Customer – Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company

Type –    Auto & Passenger Ferry 

Length – 302 ft

Delivery – 2024

About Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. (ESG) is an American owned and operated shipbuilder with three shipyards on the Florida Gulf Coast. They build world class vessels for national defense and commercial clients, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s Heritage Class Offshore Patrol Cutters. ESG is the largest private sector employer in Northwest Florida and is a 2017 recipient of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Small Business of the Year award. With a portfolio of over 350 vessels and Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) and Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) certified systems, ESG is known as one of the most diverse vessel construction companies in the country.

About the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company.

Founded in 1883, the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company is one of the oldest continuously-operating ferry services in the United States.   The company currently runs three vessels, the PARK CITY, the P.T. BARNUM, and the GRAND REPUBLIC between One Ferry Access Road, Bridgeport, CT and 102 West Broadway, Port Jefferson, NY.  The company anticipates putting its new ferry, the LONG ISLAND, into service in the fall of 2024.  For further information, see

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