High-speed Hy-Line ferry expects to resume service next week

Hy-Line Cruises — File photo from The Martha's Vineyard Times

The high-speed Hy-Line ferry Vineyard Lady, which operates between Hyannis and Oak Bluffs, and between Oak Bluffs and Nantucket, is expected to resume service next Wednesday or Thursday, company representatives said.

The ferry has been out of service since June 17 due to a failed rubber shaft coupling that was not readily available. Initially, there was talk that the ferry might be out of service most of the summer.

Philip Scudder, Hy-Line vice president in charge of marketing, told the Times that the part was found and is scheduled for delivery at the shipyard in Fairhaven this Friday.

“We’re hoping to get the shipyard to work through most of the holiday weekend,” Mr. Scudder said. “We’re looking to have the vessel back in service next week.”

The failed coupling was a challenging fix; the parts needed for the repair are manufactured in Germany, Hy-line told the Times last week. Instead of waiting for the European manufacturer to come through with the new part, Hy-Line reached out to the company that is working on the mechanics of its new vessel being built to service Nantucket, North Atlantic Power Products out of Exeter, N.H.

“They were familiar with the gear built for the Vineyard Lady, and they engineered a workaround,” Mr. Scudder said. “It’s not the original, but it should be suitable.”

Hy-Line vice president of operations R. Murray Scudder said he’ll be glad to have the vessel up and running.

“The sooner she’s back in service, the better for everybody,” he said.