MADONNA - Madonna adds flexibility, ice-breaking capacity for Wisconsin operator
Professional Mariner|Annual American Ship Review 2021
For most of this century, the Washington Island Ferry Line had a single icebreaking vessel available for winter runs across Lake Michigan’s Death’s Door Passage. The arrangement caused some sleepless nights for company President Hoyt Purinton.
Casey Conley 

He should rest a little easier this year now that a second ice-hardened ferry has joined the fleet.

“We haven’t had the luxury of a backup vessel should our primary winter boat, Arni J. Richter, have mechanical issues during the ice operating season,” said Purinton, the fourth-generation president of the ferry company based on Washington Island, Wis. “The year-round community ... depends on daily service every day of the year, and this vessel strengthens our position during the most operationally challenging period of the year.”

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding completed the 124-foot Madonna in July using plans developed by Seacraft Design. Both firms are based in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and they are among nearly a dozen vendors and suppliers from the Badger State used in Madonna’s construction and outfitting.

The 1,600-hp double-ended newbuild is the largest and most versatile ferry in Washington Island Ferry’s five-vessel fleet. It was designed with 15 feet of overhead clearance to accommodate larger vehicles, including oversized construction equipment and special cargoes. It can hold 28 vehicles and up to 149 passengers.

As of August, the ferry line was still breaking in the new boat. But the captains have noticed some nice surprises in its performance. “Underway, it is quiet and incredibly smooth,” Purinton said. “There is absolutely no vibration. Although we haven’t had much rough weather, in a beam sea it is a comfortable ride.”

Washington Island Ferry is the sole transportation link for people, vehicles, delivery trucks, construction equipment and more between its namesake island and the Door County peninsula. The island has about 700 year-round residents, and demand for ferry service surges in the summer as seasonal visitors arrive.

The 4.5-mile route crosses Death’s Door Passage, a strait that earned its name from a Native American legend that was passed along to French explorers who visited the region in the 1600s.

Nautical charts for this section of Lake Michigan still refer to the waterway by its original French name, Porte des Morts. Numerous shipwrecks have occurred here over the years, burnishing its reputation as a difficult passage.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PROFESSIONAL MARINERView All

Mariner's role still unknown as autonomous shipping gains speed

Mariners’ role still unknown as autonomous shipping gains speed

6 mins read
Professional Mariner
December - January2021

CAPTAIN MURCHISON - Texas Game Wardens gain crime-fighting advantage in the Gulf of Mexico

It’s a cat-and-mouse game on the high seas: Unlicensed commercial fisher-men from Mexico head north into Texas waters in small, swift boats called “lanchas,” hoping to catch a haul of seafood before the authorities catch them.

7 mins read
Professional Mariner
Annual American Ship Review 2021

Piracy edges closer to home with wave of raids in southern Gulf

In the brief cellphone video recorded by a crewmember on the offshore supply vessel (OSV) Remas, the pirates walk back and forth on the deck of the ship, clenching their guns and using them to point as they order around the crew. Their faces are draped in clothing and bandanas.

4 mins read
Professional Mariner
December - January2021

MADONNA - Madonna adds flexibility, ice-breaking capacity for Wisconsin operator

For most of this century, the Washington Island Ferry Line had a single icebreaking vessel available for winter runs across Lake Michigan’s Death’s Door Passage. The arrangement caused some sleepless nights for company President Hoyt Purinton.

5 mins read
Professional Mariner
Annual American Ship Review 2021

Casualties

NTSB: Dredge hit Texas gas pipeline, causing fire that killed four

4 mins read
Professional Mariner
December - January2021

FERRIES/EXCURSION - COVID-19 threatens once-robust passenger vessel market

The passenger boat market has been relatively strong over the past few years, driven largely by ferry operators on all three coasts replacing older vessels and adding to existing fleets. Meanwhile, the relatively robust economy stoked demand for new excursion and tourist vessels.

9 mins read
Professional Mariner
Annual American Ship Review 2021

IMO emissions report raises new concerns about methane slip

A recent report from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) reveals that global shipping emissions increased nearly 10 percent from 2012 to 2018, with the industry facing a growing challenge concerning methane slip.

3 mins read
Professional Mariner
December - January2021

Matson continues fleet renewal with versatile Kanaloa-class ships

Matson Navigation has a proud history in the Pacific dating back more than a century. The 870-foot container/roll-on, roll-off (conro) Lurline will build on that legacy well into the future.

6 mins read
Professional Mariner
Annual American Ship Review 2021

Bay State brothers find industry niche by making old into new

Zero non-conformities is what you want to hear when the U.S. Coast Guard inspects your tugboat. Once you’ve prepared your vessel, the inspectors come aboard to peruse your paperwork. They ask you pointed questions, to which they expect straightforward answers. Perusal completed, they then scrutinize all of the related safety systems, from bilge to antennas — even the ship’s bell.

5 mins read
Professional Mariner
December - January2021

MEGAYACHTS - Megayacht demand remains strong in North America despite virus impacts

Twelve months ago, 2020 looked to be a banner year for megayachts. Sales were on the rise, clients were interested and yards were buzzing with projects. The 2019 fall boat shows, which informally kick off the yachting industry’s year, saw record attendance both in terms of exhibitors and visitors. The Marine Industries Association of South Florida reported that the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show brought in more than $715 million in sales.

4 mins read
Professional Mariner
Annual American Ship Review 2021
RELATED STORIES

ELTON'S TROUBLES DELIGHT MADONNA!

Songbird savors sweet revenge as court fight gets more & more ugly

1 min read
Globe
September 21, 2020

Gonzo Madonna Goes To Pot!

Material Girl goes wild at freaky 62nd birthday bash

2 mins read
Globe
September 07, 2020

BLAINE WORKS MAGIC ON MADONNA'S PAIN!

DAVID BLAINE is helping pal Madonna heal her crippled leg, sources said!

1 min read
National Enquirer
August 24, 2020

MADONNA'S CATFIGHT WITH EX'S NEW WIFE!

Rock diva loves pushing model Jacqui’s buttons

1 min read
Globe
August 10, 2020

CATFIGHT AT DIVA CORRAL!

Cher & Madonna’s claws come out as fiery feud erupts again!

2 mins read
Globe
July 13, 2020

MADONNA'S GETTING A LEG UP ON INJURY!

PAINFUL RECOVERY AHEAD AFTER BREAKTHROUGH TREATMENT

1 min read
National Enquirer
June 22, 2020

MADONNA'S MENTAL MELTDOWN!

Pals fear for Material Girl after COVID-19 craziness

1 min read
Globe
May 25, 2020

MADONNA'S LOCKDOWN MELTDOWN!

QUARANTINE DIARY A RAMBLING RANT

2 mins read
National Enquirer
May 4, 2020

AGING MADONNA'S RAGING AS BOYTOY DANCER DUMPS HER!

AHLAMALIK TOLD DIVA SHE’S TOO OLD FOR HIM -INSIDER

1 min read
National Enquirer
March 2, 2020

Broken Down Madonna Plans Own

Material Mom, 61, wants send-off bigger than Elvis

1 min read
Globe
February 17, 2020