SSA will pull Martha’s Vineyard at 5 pm to repair bow door

Some vehicles were required to back onto the ferry Monday, because of a broken bow door.

The Steamship Authority (SSA) announced this morning it would remove the Martha’s Vineyard from the schedule at 5 pm, Monday in order to repair a malfunctioning bow door on the double-ender ferry.

The SSA said the Martha’s Vineyard will run on or close to schedule until 5 pm today, when the ferry will be taken out of service for repairs to the balky door. She will be replaced by the freight boat Katama.

As a result, the 5 pm Woods Hole to Oak Bluffs and 6:15 pm Oak Bluffs to Woods Hole trips will be diverted to Vineyard Haven, the SSA announced in an email alert sent out at 11 am, Monday. “There will be limited passenger capacity on the 5 pm, 7:30 pm and 9:45 pm Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven trips, as well as the 6:15 pm and 8:30 pm Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole trips,” the SSA said. “The 9:30 pm Vineyard Haven trip will be cancelled.  Customers may travel on either the 8:30 pm or a special trip at 10:30 pm from Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole.”

The 9:30 pm departure of the Island Home from Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole has been cancelled because with the Martha’s Vineyard tied up for repairs there will be no place for the ferry to berth in Woods Hole. Instead, she will remain in Vineyard Haven for the night.

“There is a crack in one of the internal support beams on the bow door of the Martha’s Vineyard,”  Wayne Lamson, SSA general manager, told The Times. “We need to weld temporary plates over the crack to make the door operational until we can make permanent repairs in the shipyard.”

Mr. Lamson estimated the repair would take 10 to 12 hours.  “We expect to have the Martha’s Vineyard back in Vineyard Haven [Tuesday] morning for the 6 am run,” Mr. Lamson said.

Under normal circumstances, vehicle drivers drive on and drive off the double-ender ferry. The problem first began Sunday, causing slight delays in service.