399 Pax Traditional Passenger-Only Ferry

Public Entity, Draft — June 30, 2008

Introduction

The ferry was constructed in 2005 and is certified to carry 399 passengers. The vessel’s service speed is approximately 10 knots. The ferry has three decks. The main deck and second deck are used by passengers, and the third deck (which is only open to crew members) contains the pilot house. No passenger doors on this vessel are required by the US Coast Guard to have coamings (raised door sills).

  • Main Deck — The main deck is about 110 feet long and 32 feet wide (approximately 2993 square feet) and is provided with five entry points1. Over three quarters of the deck is enclosed, with the stern area containing an exterior space shaded by the second deck. At the stern, three entry points are provided. One each side of the stern area, each consisting of one double-leaf crew-operated entry gate, and a third directly at the stern consisting of a portion of the bulwark that is removable by crew for loading and unloading. From the stern area, an elevator and open stair connect the second deck, and a double-leaf door connects the enclosed main deck cabin. In the cabin, two uni-sex toilet rooms are provided. One is located between the elevator shaft and starboard side of the vessel and the second is near the forward end (portside) of the cabin. In line with the forward toilet room, an interior stair (with a door at the top) connects the second deck. Between the toilet rooms, approximately six rows of bench seating (running fore/aft) are provided for 130 passengers. Forward of the seating area, two entry points are provided each having one single leaf crew-operated sliding door (one door on each side of the cabin). At the forward end of the cabin, a separate crew-only freight storage space is located.

figure399-1
Figure 1. Main Deck — Original Design

  • Second Deck – The second deck is about 107 feet long and 28 feet wide (approximately 2613 square feet) and contains four entry points. At the bow, an open area for freight and bike storage and a passenger seating area with 50 fixed seats is provided. On each side of the freight storage area, an entry point consisting of one double-leaf crew-operated entry gate is provided. Aft of the storage area, the second deck contains an enclosed cabin. The cabin has an entry door on the portside at the forward end and another at the rear. Within the cabin, behind a door a stair connects the main deck, and behind another door a stair (crew only) connects the third deck. A uni-sex toilet room is included forward to the port side of the cabin. Three tables with seating for 12 passengers and two benches for 12 other passengers are provided. Along the starboard exterior side of the cabin, a bench provides seating for 21 passengers and at least 46 inches of clearance is provided between the seats and the starboard side guard rail. On the port side of the cabin, the exterior deck area is 36 inches wide but reduces down to 27 inches when passing the forward mooring chock. Aft of the cabin, a stair which is open to the weather (although shaded) connects the main deck (and crew-only third deck). In this area of the stair, the elevator is accessed and bench seating for 47 passengers is provided. Except for the bow seating area, all other exterior seating areas are shaded by the third deck. At the stern, an additional deck storage area is set aside for freight and bikes.

figure399-2
Figure 2. Second Deck — Original Design

Methodology

A representative of the Access Board reviewed the original designs of the vessel with a representative2 of the ferry to identify passenger features that would not meet the 2006 draft passenger vessel accessibility guidelines.3 The ferry representative proposed new designs for the passenger features that would meet the draft guidelines and estimated how much the new designs would add to a new vessel’s construction cost. It is not possible to increase the “footprint” of the vessel (i.e. to add length or beam to the existing design) because of berthing and freeboard limitations of the ferry owners’ facilities. Therefore, significant changes to arrangements in the vessel would result in a loss of passenger seating versus lengthening or widening of the vessel to accommodate the changes while maintaining seating capacity.

The ferry representative estimated that it would cost approximately $5 million in 2006 dollars to construct a similar vessel (based on the average 2005 bids). The ferry representative estimated that the new designs would add $103,000 to $124,000 to the vessel’s construction costs, or an increase of approximately 2 percent to 2.5 percent. About 78 to 81 percent of this increase is due to the addition of an automatic sprinkler system to avoid having to provide areas of temporary refuge at the top and bottom of the internal stair. Compliance with the draft guidelines also resulted in the loss of 10 fixed seats.

Actions taken on features in the original vessel designs to create new designs meeting the draft guidelines for a new vessel are discussed below. The case study sought to identify actions that 1) have significant impacts, 2) incurred additional costs but did not have significant impacts, or 3) have other outcomes which should be noted.

An action is identified as having a significant impact where the redesign of the feature would add more than 0.5 percent to vessel’s construction costs; would substantially reduce the vessel’s usable space or necessitate an increase in the vessel’s size; or would present major operational issues. An action is identified as incurring an additional cost but not having a significant impact where a specific cost can be attributed to the redesign of a feature but it does not meet the criteria for a significant impact.

Actions That Have Significant Impacts

1. Accessible Means of Escape

Interior Stair (Areas of Temporary Refuge) -The stairs have a tread depth and riser height which equates to a slope of less than 32 degrees. Each stair functions as part of a means of escape (MOE) as required by the US Coast Guard (USCG) from the second deck to the main deck; where the two areas of refuge are located (one at the stern and the other between the two forward entry points). In addition, under the formal evacuation plan, one option to evacuate the vessel is to go to the nearest ferry terminal pier and disembark the passengers. If tidal conditions are low, passengers would be directed to the second deck for disembarkation. Therefore, the MOE run in both directions, down and up. The draft guidelines require that two accessible means of escape (AMOE) connect these two decks and set up for escape travel in both directions. V207.2 and V410.1.1. The draft guidelines allow stairs to be components in an AMOE path, but do not require them to meet the stair requirements when open to the weather which is the condition of the stern stair. V410.1.2 and V410.2 Exception 3. If the vessel is not protected by an automatic sprinkler system, in order for the cabin stair to be used as a component in an AMOE, the draft guidelines require that an area of temporary refuge be provided at the top and bottom of the stair. V410.2.2. The ferry representative proposed in the new designs to add an automatic sprinkler system complying with NFPA 13. This action is estimated to increase the cost of the new vessel by $80,000 to $100,000.

The ferry representative did look at the option to provide areas of temporary refuge. To provide such features in the new designs, the original designs would have required an almost-complete redesign, changing heads, means of escape and stairways to incorporate large, protected landing areas at the top and bottom of the stairwell which would function as areas of temporary refuge. While the construction cost of the vessel would not be impacted significantly, $125,000 to $150,000 of design engineering fees would be incurred, and it is estimated that at least 10 fixed passenger seats would be lost.

Portside Second Deck Mooring Chock – On the second deck, the only deck level passenger circulation path (not located between seating rows) which is less than 36 inches wide is a 27 inch wide point at the portside forward edge of the cabin and the mooring chock. As no USCG required MOE runs pass this chock, no AMOE is required to run pass the chock and no change is required in the new designs.

Actions That Incur Additional Costs But Do Not Have Significant Impacts

2. Toilet Rooms

Two uni-sex toilet rooms are provided on the main deck, and one uni-sex toilet room is provided on the second deck. The main deck toilet room by the elevator has a lavatory which projects into the clearance required by the water closet. The draft guidelines require all three toilet rooms to be accessible. V213.2. The draft guidelines prohibit lavatories from projecting into water closet clearances. V604.3.2. The ferry representative proposed in the new designs to recess the lavatory fixture into the aft bulkhead of the toilet room by the elevator to avoid overlap of the water closet clearance. This action which is principally engineering design work is estimated to increase the cost of the new vessel by $1,500.

3. Life Jacket Storage

The only passenger used storage facilities on the vessel are the life jacket storage facilities which are only located on the main deck. One storage facility consists of a rack with canvas drapes secured by hooks located at the forward end of the main deck cabin, another is located in a cabinet under the interior stair in the cabin, and the third is located at the exterior stern area of the main deck in a rack with canvas drapes secured by hooks. The draft guidelines require that in each space where storage facilities are provided for passenger use (including those used only in emergencies), at least one of each type must be accessible. V225.2.

To meet the requirement, the ferry representative proposed in the new designs to modify the hook mechanism on the two rack storage facilities to make them accessible. This action is estimated to increase the cost of the new designed vessel by $1,000.

4. Assistive Listening System

The vessel at times uses the public address system to provide tour boat services to its passengers on both the main and second decks. The draft guidelines require where amplified communication is provided which is integral to the use of the seating areas of the vessel, a permanently installed assistive listening system (ALS) must be provided. V219.2. The number of receivers is based on the seating capacity of the vessel, not the number of fixed seats. V219.3. As the operator does not provide portable seats and the number of fixed seats (272) is less than the number of passengers the vessel is permitted to carry (399), the number of receivers is based on the maximum number of passengers permitted to be carried. Therefore, based on 399, the draft guidelines require that the ALS have at least 16 receivers of which at least four must be hearing-aid compatible. It is estimated that an ALS would need two or three FM transmitters to provide coverage on the main deck and second deck and each of the 16 receivers having at least two or three channels (corresponding to the different frequencies of the two or three transmitters). The ALS described above is estimated to increase the cost of the new vessel by $7,600 to $8,600.4

5. Main Deck Forward Port/Starboard Exterior Doors

The main deck cabin has a ceiling height of 84 inches. The stern door to the cabin has a vertical clearance of 79.5 inches, and the two forward side doors have vertical clearances of 81 inches. Because sometimes the ship’s gangway must run through one of the two forward cabin doors to connect the pier, the vertical clearance is reduced by four inches, leaving a clearance of 77 inches when the gangway projecting through the doors is level. Additional inches are lost when the gangway has a slope.

The draft guidelines require that all circulation paths used by passengers meet protruding object requirements. V204. The draft requires these circulations paths to have a head clearance of at least 80 inches, but allows 78 inches at doors with stops. V307.4. For purposes of the case study, it was assumed a gangway door with a clearance of 85 inches5 will provide the minimum head clearance when a sloped gangway projects through the door. To increase the height at the door openings, the ceiling was proposed to be raised in the new designs in the area of the doors. The ceiling would then be flared into the existing height further inboard, and a heater with blower recessed into the ceiling would need to be relocated inboard, as well. There would be no associated increase in construction costs, but there would be an additional $3,000 in design cost to make the change. There would be no impact on seating or the deck surface on the second deck due to this change.

Other Outcomes

6. Transportation Seats

The vessel has 272 fixed seats, with 130 provided in the main deck cabin and 142 provided on the second deck. The 142 seats on the second deck are dispersed with 50 located in a forward exterior seating area, 24 inside the cabin (of which 12 are at three tables), 21 exterior along the starboard side of the cabin, and 47 located aft near the elevator and stair. No designated wheelchair spaces are provided in the vessel.

The seating areas on this ferry would be classified by the draft guidelines as transportation seating areas. V106.5 and V221.1 Exception. As a total of 272 fixed seats are provided in this ferry (which includes 12 at tables), the draft guidelines require five wheelchair spaces be dispersed in the seating areas on the main deck and second deck, and one wheelchair space be located at a table. V222.3.3. Based on the original seating layout, the inclusion of five wheelchair spaces will result in a loss of nine fixed seats as shown in the “WcS Outcome” row of the table below. The “New Designs” row shows what is proposed for the new designs and would result in the loss of 10 fixed seats when compared to the original designs. The changes regarding the wheelchair spaces are estimated to increase the cost of the new vessel by approximately $10,000, primarily design engineering costs.

Number of Fixed Seats (FS) and Wheelchair Spaces (WcS)

Seating Area

Main Deck Cabin

2nd Deck Bow Exterior

2nd Deck Cabin

2nd Deck Cabin Side Exterior

2nd Deck Aft Exterior

Total

Original Layout

130 FS (no tables)

50 FS

24 FS (12 at 3 tables)

21 FS

47 FS

272 FS, 3 tables

WcS Outcome

-2 FS
+1 WcS

-3 FS
+1 WcS

-1 FS at 1 table
+1 WcS

-2 FS
+1 WcS

-2 FS
+1 WcS

-10 FS
+5 WcS

New Designs

128 FS
1 WcS

47 FS
1 WcS

23 FS (7 at 2 tables)
1 WcS at table

19 FS
1 WcS

45 FS
1 WcS

262 FS
5 WcS

7. Interior Accessible Route

An internal stair provides passenger circulation between the main deck cabin and the second deck cabin. An onboard accessible route also connects these two internal spaces, but has an exterior component which connects the elevator. The draft guidelines permit in vessels where the largest deck is less than 3,000 square feet (as in this ferry) that an accessible route may run exteriorly even though an internal circulation path connects two internal spaces.6 V206.3 Exception.

8. Electrical Power, Fuel Consumption, and Vessel Stability Impacts

As the footprint of the vessel remains essentially constant, and because the vessel was designed with sufficient margins, the ferry representative estimated the proposed changes to meet the draft guidelines would have no impact on the electrical power needs, stability, or fuel consumption of the new designed vessel.

Summary

The ferry representative estimated that it would cost approximately $5 million in 2006 dollars to construct a similar vessel (based on the average 2005 bids). The ferry representative estimated that the new designs would add $103,000 to $124,000 to the vessel’s construction costs, or an increase of approximately 2 to 2.5 percent. About 78 to 81 percent of this increase is due to the addition of an automatic sprinkler system to avoid providing areas of temporary refuge at the top and bottom of the internal stair. Compliance with the draft guidelines also resulted in the loss of 10 fixed seats. The costs are summarized below.

Adding Automatic Sprinkler System

$80,000 to $100,000

Seating Changes

$10,000

Adding Assistive Listening System

$7,600 to $8,600

Modifications to Forward Main Deck Doors

$3,000

Modifications to Recess Toilet Room Lavatory

$1,500

Adding Accessible Hardware at Two Life Jacket Racks

$1,000

Total

$103,100 to $124,100

Note: Unable to get ownership to review and comment on the draft report.


1 An entry point is where passengers embark or disembark a vessel. Not every entry point is used at each stop on the ferry’s route.

2 Although the report notes decisions made by the ferry representative, it should be noted that the Access Board hired a consultant (acceptable to the ferry representative) to provide most impact information (including cost estimates) which was used by the ferry representative in the case study decision making process.

3 The 2006 draft guidelines, as amended by Board action at the 2007 and April 2008 meetings.

4 The assistive listening system estimate was provided by the Access Board from discussions with equipment suppliers and does include an estimated engineering/installation cost of $1,300. Other costs include: $750 per transmitter, $210 per headset and receiver, and $265 per neckloop and receiver. Maintenance of the system is estimated to be less than $100 per year.

5 The ferry representative noted that even with an 85 inch opening, sometimes a necessarily steep gangway will reduce the clearance to less than 80 inches at the doors. However, the representative believes 85 inches will address most situations.

6 If an internal accessible route had been required to connect the two cabins, the ferry representative would have kept the elevator external (for the safer capability to move freight between decks) and added a platform lift to connect the two cabins. The installation of a lift would add approximately $40,000 to the cost of a new vessel, plus include an additional design related cost of $30,000 – $35,000 which would have increased the cost of the new designs by $70,000 to $75,000. The elevator has a dimension of about 76 inches in width (between handrails) and about 82 inches in depth with a door on the 76 inch side providing a clear opening width of 54 inches.