The Spear is undergoing sea trials before it begins running between the mainland and Vinalhaven later this year. Credit: Courtesy of the Maine State Ferry Service

The Maine State Ferry Service’s newest vessel is going to be undergoing sea trials this spring before beginning regular service this summer, the Maine Department of Transportation said.

The Spear, named for Richard G. Spear, the first employee of the Maine State Ferry Service in 1959, was launched on April 9 at Washburn & Doughty Associates, where it was built.

The 154-feet-long vessel with the capacity to hold 250 passengers and 23 vehicles will arrive in August in Rockland to begin regular service to Vinalhaven, said Paul Merrill, an transportation department spokesperson.

Before joining the ferry service, Spear was part of a team that retraced the voyage of Christopher Columbus from Europe to America. He also served in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean in the merchant marine in World War II.

The total cost of the ferry including all design, engineering, and construction work is $10.9 million, officials said.