November 2, 2006


On October 27, 2006, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) Board of Directors authorized the award of a contract to Bay Ship & Yacht Co., Alameda, CA, in the amount of $6.2 million, for the refurbishment of the interior of the Golden Gate Ferry vessel, M.S. Marin. The project will be funded using 80% Federal Transit Administration grant funds, with the remainder coming from Bridge tolls.

The M.S. Marin will be delivered to the contractor’s shipyard on or about November 6, 2006, and will return to Golden Gate Ferry in spring 2007. When returned, the refurbished vessel will be used primarily on the Golden Gate Sausalito Ferry route to/from San Francisco. The new customer amenities included in the interior refurbishment include:

  • New seating, inside and out
  • New deck covering and carpeting
  • New ceilings and wall paneling
  • New lighting
  • New PA system
  • New restrooms
  • New refreshment stand
  • New security cameras
  • New paint throughout
  • New windows
  • New bicycle racks to accommodate at least 70 bicycles in an area on the lower (main) deck aft reserved entirely for bicycle stowage
  • New modern handicap lift to ensure the vessel complies with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules for passenger vessels

A new generator and electrical system will also be installed.

Three Spaulding class vessels (M.S. Sonoma, M.S. San Francisco and M.S. Marin) were built for Golden Gate Ferry between 1974 and 1977 in San Diego, CA, for approximately $12.6 million. These vessels were used to start the Golden Gate Larkspur/San Francisco ferry service in 1976. The M.S. Marin was the first Spaulding to be applied into service on December 11, 1976.

Since their construction in the 1970s, the Spaulding vessels have undergone two re-powerings: the first, to convert the vessels from their original design of gas turbine propulsion to diesel engines (between 1983 and 1995), and the second, to install new more modern and efficient diesel engines (between 2001 and 2002). While the District has also invested twice over the years in updating the main propulsion, other than routine maintenance and repairs, there has been little done to upgrade or refurbish the interior and exterior passenger spaces. Consequently, the vessel’s passenger spaces are in need of upgrade.