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Cape May - Lewes Ferry Welcomes Home M/V Cape Henlopen
By JSalmon on 05/04/2010:  


Cape May – Lewes Ferry Welcomes Home M/V Cape Henlopen
New York Shipyard Completes Necessary Maintenance Work and Vessel Upgrades
(Cape May, NJ) Today, Cape May – Lewes Ferry (CMLF) officials welcomed home the MV Cape Henlopen following a three-month dry-docking at Caddell’s Shipyard in Staten Island, New York, the first time in more than 34 years, a shipyard not based in Norfolk, Virginia, successfully bid on a CMLF project. The final cost of the maintenance work and vessel upgrades was approximately $1.7 million - about $600,000 less than the contract award price.
“The shipyard performed maintenance work and completed some vessel upgrades to make the passenger experience that much more enjoyable,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations who noted that the MV Cape Henlopen is now air conditioned for the first time. “The success of the project is a credit to our Port Engineer, Jim Gillespie, who was instrumental in not only diligently managing the shipyard work, but also encouraging Caddell representatives to participate in our bidding process to begin with.”
Under the direction of Jim Gillespie, CMLF Port Engineer, the vessel underwent several maintenance repairs and upgrades at the shipyard, including:
·         Installing a new Air Conditioning system on M/V Cape Henlopen for the first time ever. The new system is also capable of producing heat for the winter months, which will result in fuel savings as the heating boiler will not be needed. All vessels in the fleet are now air conditioned.
·         Mounting a new energy efficient ceiling in the main salon, upgrading an outdated, aged ceiling that was in place since 1981.
·         Investing in new compact fluorescent light fixtures to enhance overhead lighting for passengers and also to reduce energy consumption.
·         Fabricating and installing a new rudder post packing gland system to prevent seawater intrusion into the steering gear area, which will reduce maintenance, increase fuel efficiency and protect the environment.
·         Coating the vessel’s hull with environmentally-friendly anti-fouling bottom paint that will provide protection from corrosive elements until the next scheduled dry docking.
·         Water blasting, inspecting, and coating the steel in the interior spaces along keel and in other corrosion-prone areas to reduce the need for future steel replacement.
The MV Cape Henlopen also underwent a rigorous and extensive Internal Structural Exam and Machinery Inspection, which is performed by the United States Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a process that must occur for all CMLF vessels every five years. The MV Cape Henlopen, which passed all inspections and examinations, was issued a new 6-year Class Certificate by the ABS. 
The vessel is expected to resume opearations this week.
The Cape May - Lewes Ferry operates year round and has carried more than thirty-nine million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. The ferry service, connecting the Victorian Cape May, New Jersey and historic Lewes, Delaware, transports approximately one million passengers and 320,000 vehicles annually. For more information on the ferry service, please visit

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