Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Mechanical Ferry Docking System(ST11021-1)

New York Trans Harbor, LLC


Quite typically, ferries that service the short-run routes of New York City harbor run their diesel engines at high power (50-75% throttle) to hold the ships against docks during passenger loading and unloading. This accounts for significant fuel consumption, especially on these short routes where the ferries often spend approximately as much time at the dock as in transit. Significant savings in diesel fuel and resulting reductions in diesel engine emissions may be achieved if a rapid, safe, reliable, and cost-effective means of securing ferries to docks during passenger loading/unloading can be achieved, as opposed to using engine propulsive power for this task.

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Project Description

The Contractor, New York WaterTaxi, owns and operates ferries in New York harbor, and this project would result in the initial study of various possible approaches to ultimately pursue development of a restraint device that would hold a ferry against the dock, allowing the engine to operate at much lower power or possibly be shut off. Momentum Marine, one of the Contractor's subcontractors, is a small consulting firm that holds patents on docking restraint devices and is planning to license the subject intellectual property to manufacturers. Capital Energy Solutions, another team subcontractor, is a consulting firm has a great deal of experience developing and managing R&D projects in the New York ferry industry.


Allows significant fuel savings and emissions reduction in a densely populated area, creates potential for New York State jobs, and the ultimate commercial potential may be large, considering the possible application of this technology at other ports and waterways around the world.

Project Results


New York Trans Harbor, LLC
d/b/a New York Water Taxi 655 Third Avenue, Suite 1404
New York, NY 10017

Principle Investigator

Helena Durst

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:


NYSERDA Contact Information

Patrick P Bolton


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST11021-1

Last Updated: 5/9/2014 2