Martha’s Vineyard sidelined for 44 days

With a nor'easter bearing down on the region, the Steamship Authority has issued a travel alert.

The MV Martha’s Vineyard was taken out of service on Sept. 8, and won’t return until after Oct. 22. The ferry is in a “prescheduled repair period,” according to Steamship Authority spokesman Sean Driscoll.

“There is preventative maintenance work scheduled for the HVAC, generator, engines, and plumbing,” he wrote in an email. “Saltwater piping that was not upgraded during the midlife is being replaced …” as are “weathertight exterior doors.” Senesco and door vendor Trident Maritime Systems are teaming up to work on the doors. The door work is the largest of the scheduled maintenance projects, Driscoll wrote.

“Some of the work going on with the MV Martha’s Vineyard is warranty work from the midlife refurbishment,” he wrote.

The Martha’s Vineyard underwent a more than $18 million refurbishment at Senesco Marine in North Kingstown, R.I., and returned to service last winter. Since returning from Senesco, the vessel has suffered numerous glitches and failures, including a propulsion loss that stranded it off Vineyard Haven for six hours on the night of St. Patrick’s Day. Other problems included a power loss on the evening of May 5 that sent it drifting toward an undersea ledge in Woods Hole, people trapped in a malfunctioning elevator, metal falling from its bow door that prompted the Coast Guard to demand safety nets be hung until the ferry could be taken out of service, pervasive sewage odors, air conditioning failure in summer swelter, and HVAC registers drizzling water onto passenger areas.