SSA’s two biggest ferries under the knife in Fairhaven

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The Woods Hole, background is not running Friday night, due to weather conditions . —Rich Saltzberg

The MV Island Home and the MV Woods Hole, the Steamship Authority’s largest and newest vessels, are currently at the SSA’s Fairhaven repair facility in the midst of repair periods. The Island Home left service for the facility on Jan. 21, and is expected to return March 24. The Woods Hole left service Feb. 8, and is expected to return March 15.

A lengthy punchlist for the Woods Hole includes troubleshooting high-pressure fuel leaks and repairing reduction gears, in addition to a raft of annual inspections.

A similar punchlist for the Island Home includes vehicle door work and unclogging the men’s bathrooms, “ALL OF THEM,” in addition to numerous annual inspections. The Island Home punch list also includes fixing previously executed Senesco Marine work. Work orders indicate the need to “reconfigure incorrectly installed coolant piping for [bow thruster] engine.”

SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll described the piping as “slightly misaligned,” and said it did not affect the performance of the bow thrusters.

“This issue has no effect on the operation of the thruster, and did not cause any damage to the grid coolers,” he wrote. “It is on the list, however, as it is more of an aesthetics issue and does not affect the unit’s operation; we will modify the piping when higher-priority items are completed.”

The Island Home suffered bow thruster glitches last year after new electric models were installed in the vessel. The grid coolers of the bow thrusters were recently replaced due to electrolysis. Driscoll said the electrolysis damage to the grid coolers has no connection to the coolant piping.