Courtesy Baltimore Water Taxi
Courtesy Baltimore Water Taxi

A new version of the Baltimore water taxi appeared today in the Inner Harbor, and it looks pretty sleek. The boat is several weeks away from giving its first ride to paying customers, but Sagamore Ventures today gave members of the media a chance today to enjoy a preview ride.

The Key’s Anthem, designed by South Baltimore-based Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, is 55 feet long and can carry up to 49 people, not including its captain and first mate, per the Sun. It’s modeled after the classic Chesapeake Bay deadrise boat, but it’s more energy-efficient than the current fleet of boats and is wheelchair- and bike-accessible, according to WBAL-TV.

Appearance-wise, it stands in stark contrast to the beloved traditional blue-and-white pontoons that carry passengers across the harbor. The Key’s Anthem sports a black exterior paint job accented by a yellow-and-black checkered Maryland flag pattern and matching logos. In short, it kind of resembles a piece of sports performance apparel made by Under Armour, but in boat form.

Here’s a closer look at the front:

Very excited for our newest boat. Stay tuned to find out when you are able to go for a ride. #bmorewatertaxi #watertaxi #keysanthem

— Baltimore Water Taxi (@BmoreWaterTaxi) November 7, 2016

Pictures of the inside of the vessel posted on Twitter show a bench wrapping around the interior with some smaller seats in the center, and an outline of Fort McHenry on the ceiling.

Sagamore Ventures previously released mockups of the boat in August, shortly after the Under Armour-backed firm bought Harbor Boating, Inc., which runs the water taxi service. However, the real thing looks more intense than it did in the sketches.

The company announced soon after buying the service that they would be introducing a new fleet over the next few years, along with more hours of service and more stops, including a few in Port Covington. The Key’s Anthem is the first real glimpse of the changes to come for the water taxi service.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...