The ferry company's website confirms that the PT Barnum has been in operation since 1998:
"The first president of The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co. was circus impresario, P. T. Barnum. Named in his honor, this ferry began transiting the Bridgeport, CT to Port Jefferson, NY route in 1999. Measuring 300 ft. by 52 ft. by 12 ft. she is capable of holding up to 120 vehicles and 1,000 passengers. Bringing the fleet total to three, the company could now offer hourly service for the first time."