Houston, Texas – March 18th, 2024 – The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) recently christened its new 293’x66’x16’ double-ended hybrid ferry, the ESPERANZA “HOPE” ANDRADE. The Shearer Group, Inc. (TSGI) began working with TXDOT to design and provide construction oversight services for the vessel in 2017. The vessel was built by Gulf Island Fabricators in Houma, LA. The ESPERANZA is a 495-passenger, 70-car diesel-electric ferry that provides service from Galveston Island to the Bolivar Peninsula, a 2.7-mile transit. The hybrid functionality of the vessel will improve overall operational costs while providing a higher level of redundancy and safety compared to the other vessels. The vessel’s namesake was the first female chair of TXDOT and the first Latina Texas Secretary of State, Esperanza Hope Andrade.

The vessel is designed with a diesel-electric power generation system and a Power Management System (PMS) programmed to use the onboard battery storage to allow for peak shaving to reduce fuel consumption and maximize efficiency and reliability. This means that during transit, only two generators will be online, with the batteries supplying the remainder of the power demands to the vessel. While loading and unloading, the generators stay online and will use excess power to recharge the batteries.

“TSGI is proud to have worked with TXDOT to design and oversee the construction of their newest Galveston-Bolivar Ferry vessel. This vehicle/passenger ferry is the first of its kind in the U.S. to operate under Subchapter H of Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations with a hybrid diesel-electric system that incorporates energy storage technology.”

The Shearer Group, Inc. (TSGI) is the global leader in the design of inland towboats, ferries, and barges. We have a rich history of providing naval architecture, marine engineering, and marine surveying services to the marine industry, focusing on the inland sector. To learn more, you can visit our website:


The Shearer Group, Inc. is a full-service naval architecture, marine engineering and marine surveying firm specializing in commercial vessel design and consulting.

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