Mackinac Express


General Specifications

Regulatory File – Insert Official Number 915735 in the Vessel Number box and click “search”

Name Mackinac Express
Style Ferry
Builder Gladding Hearn Shipbuilding
Architect International Catamarans Designs Pty. Ltd (INCAT)
Hull Catamaran
USCG Certified Annual Due
USCG Dry Dock April 2017
USCG Official Number 915735
Route Certification Great Lakes Operation – Not More than 20 Miles from Safe Harbor or Refuge (May 14 to October 16)
Passenger Capacity 345
Gross Tonnage 90
Net Tonnage 61
Speed (approx.) Cruising: 17kts@1,400 RPM
Maximum: 28kts@2,200 RPM
Built 1987
LOA 88′
LWL 77.7′
Beam 28.4′
Hull Depth Depth 8.4′
Freeboard Depth
Draft Water: 4′ Air Draft:30′
Hull Material Aluminum
Deckhouse Material Aluminum
Tank Capacities Fuel: 4,000 gallons
Waste: 500 gallons
Potable Water: n/a

Accommodations and Layout

The vessel is arranged with entry doors aft of her large aft deck (port and starboard). The main deck is arranged with three columns of fixed seating (3/6/3) for approximately 140 passengers – port, centerline and starboard. A head is fully aft on the centerline (the vessel was designed and built with two heads, the second head was converted to a storage locker. A single entry door forward allows crew access to the forward deck. There are two exterior stairways off the aft deck providing access between the main and 01 decks. The 01 deck is arranged with open air seating aft and the deckhouse is arranged with three columns of fixed seating port and starboard banquette seating (three port and three starboard) and the center column is fixed seating in the 01 deck salon allowing for approximate 50 passengers. The wheelhouse is fully forward. A center stairway allows access between the 01 and 02 decks. The 02 deck provides open air fixed seating passengers.


  • Control station with VDO engine instrumentation (i.e., tachometer, engine oil pressure, ammeters, hour meters)
  • Joystick control at the helm and wing stations
  • Rolls Royce Kamewa electronic dual clutch and throttle controls
  • Murphy bilge alarms
  • Fog bell
  • Large dual trumpet horn
  • Phoenix remote controlled searchlight
  • Five windshield wipers
  • Helm seat
  • Datamarine sounder
  • One Koden model MD 3642 radar system with array antenna
  • One Furuno radar system with array antenna
  • Koden Sitex radar system with array antenna
  • Two Standard Eclipse VHF/FM marine radios with antennas
  • Garmin model 182 Map GPS global positioning system (GPS)
  • Danforth 4″ magnetic compass
  • Ducane public address/intercom system

Salon (Main Deck)

  • Three columns of fixed seating for approximate 140 passengers

Salon (01 Deck)

  • Banquettes along port and starboard
  • Fixed seats in the center column

Salon (02 Deck)

  • Fixed seats

Electrical System

  • One ship service 12.5 kW Northern Lights model M-843 generators powered by a dedicated Mitsubishi marine diesel 3 cylinder with fuel filter, seawater strainer, seacock and Whisper box –
  • Engine hours: starboard 0 – May 2015
  • Generator is aboard and needs final hookup
  • The second generator has been removed and ready for replacement (see comments below)
  • Ship to shore power switch
  • 100 AMP/ 240 VAC shore power service
  • 50’ 100 AMP/ 240 VAC power cord
  • 115 VAC exterior and interior perimeter lighting
  • 120 VAC/12 VDC lighting
  • 120 VAC duplex outlets
  • Six 12 VDC 8D enclosed heavy duty batteries – NEW 2014
  • Perko battery isolation switch
  • Two Constavolt automatic battery chargers
  • 24 VDC manifold bilge system
  • Internationally approved navigation lights (i.e., port light, starboard light, stern light, masthead light, anchor light)

Hull, Superstructure and Decks

  • 6-10 millimeters of 5083H116 aluminum plate hulls
  • 4-6 millimeters of 5083H116 aluminum plate deckhouse
  • Each hull has six watertight compartments formed by five transverse bulkheads
  • The main deckhouse is fitted to the hull by resilient mounts to isolate engine noise and vibration
  • 6” split pipe rub rail
  • Deck fittings:
    Electrical: Aft – port/star.
    Waste: Aft – port/star.
    Water: mid – port/star.
    Fuel: m – port/star.

Mechanical Equipment and Engine Details

  • Two 8 cylinder turbo charged 1,300 HP Caterpillar 3508 marine diesel engines, fuel filters, seawater strainers with seacocks
  • Engine hours: 0 port, 0 starboard – May 2015
  • Port engine received a top end overhaul (new block and crankshaft) and is on beds mostly complete
  • Starboard engine received a complete overhaul and nearly complete
  • Engine room insulation
  • 4” Aquamet stainless steel shafts
  • ZF model BWK455-1 reverse reduction gears (REBUILT 2014) – ready for bolt up
  • Rolls Royce Kamewa model A-50 water jets (aluminum with stainless steel wear ring) with heat exchanger cooling fitted with above water (idle) and below water (service Speed) outlets
  • Port jet is partially disassembled.
  • 2 1/2 gallon water heaters
  • Oil drain system (24 VDC) for the propulsion and generator engines


The vessel is equipped with one unisex head and each contains:

  • Toilet
  • One sink with an automatic shutoff faucet
  • Toilet paper dispenser
  • Paper towel dispenser

Safety Equipment

  • Type I adult size personal flotation devices (stowed in deck boxes)
  • Type I child size personal flotation devices (stowed in deck boxes)
  • 24” life rings one with line
  • Self-actuated rescue lights
  • Two 100 lb. CO2 bottles – mounted
  • Five B-II and One B-I 10 lb. dry chemical fire extinguisher
  • Pyrotechnic distress signals
  • One fire station on each deck and one in each engine room: two 1 1/2” UL approved rubber lined hoses with brass or bronze fittings, two brass or bronze nozzles, two brass or bronze hose bibs. The bilge pump system operates the fire system also
  • Anchor and line
  • Man overboard recovery ladder


  • Exterior coating: Epoxy
  • Exterior decks: Epoxy – non skid
  • Interior decks:
    Salon: diamond plate aluminum
    Heads: diamond plate aluminum
    Wheelhouse: Sound down carpeting
  • Interior Bulkheads: Aluminum sheathing


The MACKINAC EXPRESS is in good condition. She was lengthened by 10’ and converted to a water jet in 2003. The ferry offers a sleek style and wonderful viewing for passengers. The propulsion engines are in need of new pre start up lube oil chargers, starboard jets marine drive requires reconditioning, port and starboard jet housings are in need of new seals and bearings, update to Raycor high efficiency components, replace the starboard starter motor, replace four 8D batteries per engine, and two 2D batteries for controls, complete engine, propulsion and A/C generation repairs, engine start up and sea trial, change the lube oil after the sea trail, post sea trial engine adjustment to the valve train, replace the starboard generator cost for such is $190,450 based upon 100 percent core equity (detailed quotation available upon request).