Ferry News


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The District welcomed its newest high-speed catamaran, Motor Vessel (M.V.) Mendocino, to California in a christening ceremony in Fort Bragg on Friday, July 20 at 2 pm. The M.V. Mendocino, passed under the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday, July 22, 2001 at approximately 2 pm on her way to her new home at the Larkspur Golden Gate Ferry Terminal.

The M.V. Mendocino will immediately go into dry-dock for full inspection. Training and familiarization for ferry crews and mechanics will then take place for about six weeks. Also, various speed, calibration, and maneuvering tests and trials will be performed. The M.V. Mendocino will be placed into service between Larkspur and San Francisco on Monday, September 10, 2001.

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. 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 its namesake county„Mendocino." The vessel was named after Mendocino County to honor it as one of the six counties that make up the District. The other vessels in the Golden Gate Ferry Larkspur fleet are named the M.S. San Francisco, M.S. Marin, M.S. Sonoma and M.V. Del Norte.

The M.V. Mendocino is the latest addition to the Golden Gate Ferry fleet and will be the first to sport the District's new logo featuring the Golden Gate Bridge. The 141-foot, two-passenger-deck vessel is a fast, lightweight catamaran that will cruise at a speed of 36 knots (40 miles per hour). Like the M.V. Del Norte, overall trip time between Larkspur and San Francisco will be 30 minutes. The new vessel incorporates several improvements over the M.V. Del Norte catamaran, many of which were recommended by Golden Gate Ferry customers.

Interior Design Improvements:

  • Passenger capacity of 408 (compared to 325 on M.V. Del Norte.)
  • Improved access for passenger loading/unloading
  • More flexible table seating
  • Additional protected bike storage

In preparation for the Monday, September 10, 2001 service start date, several improvements to Larkspur Ferry service and the parking lot have been planned.

Larkspur Ferry Service Improvements:

  • Larkspur Ferry schedule revised to provide more high-speed trips
  • Number of daily high-speed crossings increased from 16 to 26
  • Golden Gate Transit (GGT) FREE shuttle bus program redesigned to better match customer needs
  • All high-speed ferry departures to be served by FREE GGT shuttle buses

Larkspur Parking Lot Improvements:

  • Guaranteed boarding privileges offered to GGT shuttle bus passengers on ferries bound for San Francisco
  • Contract to be awarded August 3, 2001 for redesign of existing lot to add approximately 200 spaces. Construction to be completed shortly after M.V. Mendocino goes into service.
  • More frequent connections on GGT bus Routes 25, 29 and 30 between Larkspur Ferry Terminal and Andersen Drive Park & Ride lot.