Ferry News


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Golden Gate Ferry (GGF), an operating division of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District), will welcome its newest high-speed catamaran, Motor Vessel (M.V.) Mendocino, to California in a christening ceremony on Friday, July 20 at 2 pm. The ceremony will take place at the James G. Cummings Trust Dock (the northern-most dock) at Noyo Harbor, 32100 North Harbor Drive, near Fort Bragg. Public tours of the high-speed vessel will take place from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Parking will be identified with signs and will be located in the lot on the left side of North Harbor Drive, north of the Trailer Park.

According to District General Manager, Celia Kupersmith, "The stop in Fort Bragg provides an opportunity for residents of Mendocino County to tour the M.V. Mendocino before it reaches its new home in the Bay Area. We are thrilled that our new high-speed, state-of-the-art catamaran can make the stop in Fort Bragg and be christened in it's namesake countyƑMendocino."

The M.V. Mendocino, built by Nichols Bros. Boat Builders, Inc., Freeland, Washington, is the second high-speed catamaran to be added to the Golden Gate Ferry fleet, which operates public transit service between two locations in Marin County, Larkspur and Sausalito, and the City of San Francisco. Federal (80%), State (12.5%) and District (7.5%) funds were combined to purchase the $10 million vessel. The M.V. Mendocino will be placed into service between Larkspur and San Francisco on September 10, 2001 and will make the crossing in 30 minutes at 36 knots (40 miles per hour). The Mendocino is a 141-foot, 400-passenger, three deck high-speed, lightweight catamaran propelled by four Cummins K50 engines.

The M.V. Mendocino departs Washington State for the Fort Bragg area on July 15, and after the July 20 christening will continue on to Larkspur, crossing under the Golden Gate Bridge on July 22. After arriving in the Bay Area, the Mendocino will go into dry-dock for a full inspection. Training and familiarization for ferry crews and mechanics along with various speed, calibration, and maneuvering tests and trials will be performed prior to entering into service on September 10.

Since starting public transit ferry service between Larkspur and San Francisco in 1976, each addition to the fleet is named for one of six member-counties of the District. We are extremely proud to honor Mendocino County with the newest addition. The existing fleet honors the counties of San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and Del Norte. Only Napa remains to adorn a vessel in the Golden Gate Ferry fleet.

The District's first high-speed catamaran, M.V. Del Norte, was placed into service between Larkspur and San Francisco in September 1998. The high-speed catamaran was overwhelmingly popular, increasing ridership by 11% overall. A second high-speed vessel means even better customer service through the option of more frequent fast-ferry trips to and from San Francisco during the commute periods. The M.V. Mendocino offers an increased carrying capacity of 408, up from the 325 carried by the M.V. Del Norte. One of the original three Spaulding vessels from Larkspur will replace the aging M.V. Golden Gate, which operates between Sausalito and San Francisco.

Based in San Francisco, California, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District has three operating divisions: Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Transit and Golden Gate Ferry, as well as an administrative division. Last year, more than 42 million vehicles crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, while Golden Gate Transit and Golden Gate Ferry carried nearly 12 million passengers.