Island Home ferry is latest with issue

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Cars line up at the Vineyard Haven terminal Friday at about 12:15. The Island Home has been canceled due to a mechanical issue.

Updated 1:20 pm

The MV Island Home had to cancel two trips Friday, forcing some passengers onto the MV Woods Hole instead for their crossing from Woods Hole and delaying the trips of dozens of other travelers.

According to a statement released this afternoon, shortly after its 9:30 am departure from Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole, a breaker connected to the forward rudder on the Island Home tripped. The vessel crew was able to immediately reset the breaker. At no time during the trip was the vessel’s steering affected, as it uses the stern rudder for steering, the release states.

The Island Home docked at its scheduled arrival time of 10:15 am without incident. The ferry was then taken out of service so Steamship Authority engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard could further inspect the rudder system, the release stated.

Two trips — one at 10:45 am and one at noon — were canceled as a result.

“We are pleased and relieved to report that the MV Island Home has been cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard to return to service, and will be resuming its published operating schedule beginning with its 1:15 pm trip from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven this afternoon,” the release stated. “We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.”

A Times employee was scheduled to take the Island Home Friday morning, but instead had to travel back to the Island onboard the Woods Hole, which headed into Oak Bluffs instead of Vineyard Haven — an inconvenience for the folks on board.

The Quicks Hole webcam showed the Island Home still in port at 11:30 am. At that point the SSA had not yet issued any alerts.

A short time later, the Steamship Authority website initially reflected a 30-minute delay, citing “mechanical issues,” for the Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole crossing on the Island Home, but later that trip was canceled so that the Island Home could undergo sea trials.

 

Construction wrapping up

Meanwhile, the contractor working on slips for the Steamship Authority in Woods Hole will wrap up work next week, according to an update sent by email Friday by Bill Cloutier, the project manager.

“Yesterday we had our weekly project meeting with the waterside construction contractors,” the email states. “This past week Cashman pretty much completed the mass excavation of the wharf, although they may have to wrap up some excavation activities on Monday.”

The work is part of the ongoing construction that will eventually lead to a new terminal building in Woods Hole.

A screen shot from the Quicks Hole webcam shows the Island Home still in its slip in Woods Hole.

According to the email, Cashman will be packing up its equipment and securing it on the barge for a trip to New York City next week. The barge is scheduled to leave Thursday.

“The site contractor will be covering the preload pile with plastic tarps, and they will be doing paving on Thursday to improve the area outside the work area for pedestrian and vehicle traffic during the summer,” the email states. “They will demobilize for the summer on Friday, June 15, and should be fully offsite by the end of that workday. Work won’t begin again until after Labor Day in September.”