Islander meets her final end in a scrap yard

The double-ender awaits an ignominious end in a New Jersey shipyard. — Photo courtesy of Katherine May-Waite

The Steamship Authority ferry Islander, which sailed the Vineyard route for more than half a century, met her end in a boatyard in Port Newark, N.J., last week.

The following photos show the ferry being cut up for scrap on October 25.

Although fans of the ferry Islander had hoped she might find new life, her last few years were spent rusting away at a dock in New York City.

The Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC), the corporation responsible for Governors Island in New York City, purchased the 770-passenger, half-century-old ferry for $500,000 in July 2007. In 2009, GIPEC put the ferry on the Internet auction block rather than pay an estimated $6 million for needed maintenance and repairs.

Don Slovak, a farmer and trucker from the town of Valatie, N. Y., just east of the Hudson River and about 15 miles south of Albany, placed the winning bid on eBay for the former ferry.

At the time of the purchase Mr. Slovak told The Times he liked what he saw and read on eBay and decided to speculate. He said he had some interest from people in other countries.

But according to a story published in The Times Union newspaper of Albany, the ferry became a “titanic headache” for Mr. Slovak.

Mr. Slovak was unable to sell the ferry whole or in parts. The state would not release the ferry from the shipyard where it was moored. In the end, it was junked.