October 10th, 2020 by Jo Borrás
Since 1846, the best view of the iconic Niagara Falls has been from the deck of the Maid of the Mist — a ferry tour that is as much a part of Niagara’s lore as a trip down the falls in a barrel. The Maid herself has seen some changes over the 160-odd years it’s been in service, but the biggest change so far comes by way of ABB and the New York Power Authority, which have teamed up to deliver two brand-new, all-electric ferry boats to the iconic falls.
It’s an exciting change that should make the Maid of the Mist experience smoother, quieter, and — of course! — cleaner than ever before. And it seems like we’re not the only ones who are excited about it.
“Niagara Falls is a wonder of the world unique to Western New York and Maid of the Mist has given people from all walks of life an up-close look at its majesty for more than 150 years,” said New York’s Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul. “Having this natural wonder in our backyard means we have a special responsibility as its steward and protecting it for future generations. This new fleet of all-electric vessels will protect the health of our waterways and environment, and is another example of New York State building back better, smarter and greener.”
The pair of boats will be named the James V. Glynn and Nikola Tesla, respectively, and are the first passenger vessels of their kind in the United States. James V. Glynn is named in honor of the longtime Maid of the Mist Chairman and CEO James V. Glynn, who has been with the Maid for 70 (seventy!) years. The Nikola Tesla is, of course, named for the Serbian-born engineer behind the design and construction of the world’s first hydro-electric power plant — which is located in Niagara Falls, NY — and the inspiration for both Tesla and Nikola, as well as a not-half-bad, late hair-era rock band.
The boats’ new paint scheme (shown, above) will focus on the “green” direction the company is headed in, with the the blue water droplet/lightning bolt icon further represents the three elements of Niagara Falls, being: the water of Niagara Falls, a lightning bolt to symbolize the electricity generated by the falls, and the turbine that generates that power.
It’s a bit of a reach, I know, but it’s a reach in the right direction for the Maid of the Mist, and one that can be especially appreciated by people who have taken the trip before and wrapped up their viewing of this naturally scenic wonder by pulling into a dock filled with the gold and purple swirls of oil and diesel. Heck, the whole tour will probably even smell better, which is nice for New York!
Take a look at the specs of these ABB-built ferries for yourself, from the maidofthemist.com website, then let us know what you think of this new direction the Maid is headed in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
These catamaran-style boats are game changers for our visitors, the environment and the industry. Our new Maid of the Mist vessels:
- Are among the first all-electric passenger vessels in North America
- Utilize lithium-ion battery power that recharges to 80% each trip
- Produce zero emissions
- Operate nearly silently with little to no vibration
- Have complete redundancy in propulsion and battery power, with independent systems located in each hull
- Are made from 5086 H116 marine-grade, a superior marine-environment, corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy
- Won’t have diesel or combustion-based backup propulsion systems; unlike most other electric vessels, these will not be hybrid vessels
- Utilize forward bow thrusters to further enhance the steering capabilities, allowing the vessel to maneuver sideways and dock with ease
- Are designed to reduce both heeling and wave-induced motion, compared to a single-hull vessel
Source | Images: Maid of the Mist.
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