With bow door repaired, SSA is back on schedule

A vehicle driver is assisted backing onto the ferry Martha's Vineyard Monday.

The Steamship Authority (SSA) was back to normal operations Tuesday morning, following a day of delays and adjusted schedules due to a broken bow door on the Martha’s Vineyard that required some vehicles to back onto the double-ender ferry.

“The repairs to the bow door were completed and everything was tested by 2 or 2:30 this morning,” Wayne Lamson, SSA general manager, said. “All vessels were back in their normal position early this morning for the start of today’s operations.”

A crack in the support beams of the ferry door was the cause of the problem, Mr. Lamson said. Work crews welded plates over the crack as a temporary repair, and will make permanent repairs this winter, when the Martha’s Vineyard is scheduled for dry dock maintenance.

The SSA took the ferry Martha’s Vineyard out of operation at 5 pm, Monday to begin repairs. Freight boats were pressed into service with extra runs to handle passenger and vehicle traffic, and some trips were diverted from Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven.

The Island Home’s 9:30 run from Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole was cancelled, and the vessel remained in Vineyard Haven overnight, because Martha’s Vineyard occupied its usual overnight berth at the Woods Hole facility. The two boats swapped places early Tuesday morning, in order to make their regularly scheduled 6 am trips.