SSA will sell knickknacks and gear


Steamship Authority members, meeting on Tuesday in Hyannis, considered a draft of the proposed 2013 summer and fall operating schedules, and a proposal to begin marketing souvenir items.

The members authorized management to hire Scarborough & Tweed from Pleasantville, N.Y., to develop and launch an online merchandise store for the SSA, according to a management account of the meeting. The start-up costs will be about $30,000.

The products will include canvas duffel and boat bags with an SSA ribbon design featuring nautical flags, Vineyard Vines products customized for the SSA, Nantucket red baseball hats with a sketch or imprint of the M/V Iyanough, and sets of acrylic tumblers featuring the SSA fleet and/or nautical flags.

Of more practical interest to frequent travelers, the SSA will issue a request for proposals for a new food concessionaire. The SSA’s current five-year food concession contract with Boston Culinary Group will expire at the end of this year.

The proposed Vineyard 2013 summer schedule would start on May 16, 2013 (when the SSA would also open the Oak Bluffs terminal for the season), and end on October 15, 2013. The 2013 fall schedule would start on October 16, 2013, and run through January 1, 2014.

SSA management proposes to consolidate the hazardous trips on the Martha’s Vineyard route, so that there is only one hazardous trip each way Mondays through Saturdays, leaving Woods Hole at 6:15 am and returning from Vineyard Haven at 9:45 am, except for Wednesdays, when the SSA would continue to run a second hazardous trip leaving Vineyard Haven at 7:15 am and returning from Woods Hole at either 2:45 pm (during the summer) or 1:30 pm (during the fall).

In other business, the board members thanked the crew of the freight vessel Gay Head for responding to a distress call from the Coast Guard about 6 pm, Sunday, August 12, to assist a fishing vessel sinking in Nantucket Sound roughly 12 miles north of Nantucket.

Gay Head Capt. Raymond Oliver and crew successfully retrieved three fishermen before their vessel sank.