The Block Island Times

New application for Quonset Point to Block Island high-speed ferry

By Stephanie Turaj | Jul 03, 2013
Courtesy of: Rhode Island Fast Ferry Rhode Island Fast Ferry's high-speed catamaran Ava Pearl.

There might be one more fast ferry service running to Block Island.

Rhode Island Fast Ferry, a company that runs high-speed ferries from Quonset Point, R.I. to Martha's Vineyard, has applied with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to operate a new high-speed service between Quonset and Block Island.

This announcement was made in press release issued by the company on Wednesday, July 3.

If approved by the PUC, the ferry service would operate between two and four round-trips per day, according to the press release. The 30-mile trip would take approximately 45 to 50 minutes, and the ferry terminal in Quonset already has the infrastructure in place to dock the ferry.

Owner and President Charles A. Donadio, Jr. said in the press release that "fast ferry departing from Quonset Point will attract a new market of visitors to Block Island and encourage more Rhode Island residents and tourists to visit Block Island more frequently."

The ferry would compete with several current fast ferry options. One service, operated by Block Island Express, runs between New London, Conn. and Block Island. Ferry company Interstate Navigation has introduced a new high-speed ferry between Newport, R.I. and Block Island. And in addition to its year-round traditional boat between Point Judith, R.I. and Block Island, Interstate runs a summertime high-speed service between these two points.

Donadio said he would invest $6 to $7 million to build a new aluminum catamaran for the service.

"The ferry would be built for the open ocean to handle the sea conditions with the latest in trim-tab ride control for the smoothest possible ride, [and] the climate controlled interiors would have business-class amenities," Donadio said in the press release.

Donadio said he was the founder of Island Hi-Speed Ferry, which built and operated the high-speed ferry Athena between Point Judith and Block Island. Donadio said he sold his ownership in 2001 and founded Rhode Island Fast Ferry.




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