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Tribe to Build Ferry Boats in Connecticut

May 3, 1996

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) _ The Indian tribe that owns the country’s most profitable casino said Friday it plans to build high-speed boats that would ferry gamblers from Boston and New York.

The Mashantucket Pequots would also sell the high-speed 330-passenger TriCat ferry, which is now made only in Great Britain, in North and South America, the Caribbean and Hawaii.

The TriCat, designed by FBM Marine Group, is nearly 150-feet long and reaches top speed of 58 mph _ 51 knots.

The Pequots said they expect to buy the first boat _ to carry gamblers from such places as New York and Boston to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard. The boats will be built at a former steel plant about 10 miles from the casomp on the Thames River, which flows into Long Island Sound.

The Pequots said they expect initially to hire 60 employees, some of whom used to work at Electric Boat, the submarine builder that has been cutting its work force by thousands.

The tribe said it will begin construction as soon as the former Valley Steel Co. plant, which was closed in 1990, can be renovated. It hopes to have its first boat completed in about a year.

Hayward said the tribe sees a strong market for the boats, noting that two out of every three fast ferries operating in the United States were built before 1990.

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