Persephone is VSF's working name for ERIEMAX RSS-80, a prototype 21st-century vessel developed by naval architect Geoff Uttmark of TransTech Marine (Brooklyn, N.Y.) as a NYSERDA-supported initiative. ERIEMAX is designed for the draft and clearances of the New York State Canal System and is also capable of deep water work, from the Great Lakes, inland canals and rivers, to the coastal Atlantic.
The hull shape is not radically different from M/V Day Peckinpaugh, last of a fleet of about 80 ships that sailed these same routes. What makes RSS-80 modern is her propulsion system: a diesel-electric powerplant with retractable Kawasaki thrusters for efficiency and precise close-quarters maneuvering. (There are also sails.) She's designed to take serious loads off of highways and to fill a versatile niche in the marine trade--for she can go where today's container ships cannot. Her design sports a folding junk rig, space for 100 tons of cargo, and on-board materials-handling systems. Her lines are straightforward and functional. With a robust steel hull, she's built for work, and has quarters to billet up to 9 crewmembers comfortably.
Vermont Sail Freight is committed to pushing the envelope when it comes to reviving small-scale shipping using both time-proven methods and cutting-edge green tech. We hope to continue to work with NYSERDA and TransTech to see this design and business plan through to a prototype build and commercial implementation, both to take place in the Empire State.
Below is a gallery of concept drawings which illustrate the potential of this design.