New ferry door doesn’t open fully

A Steamship Authority crew member struggles to lower a ramp on the MV Martha's Vineyard because a new door doesn't fully open. — George Brennan

A recently replaced door on the Steamship Authority’s MV Martha’s Vineyard doesn’t open fully, and in some cases, forces crew members to adjust a ramp several times to offload foot passengers in Woods Hole so the ramp can reach the floor.

On Thursday afternoon, a crew member struggled to get the ramp down, scratching the new door in the process.

“[It] looks like the door just needs to be held back an inch or two during the maneuver, so the door stop position may need to be adjusted, but the consensus here is that it has more to do with the position of the ramp than the doors themselves,” Sean Driscoll, an SSA spokesman, wrote in an email. “Since that’s a new walkway in Woods Hole, there may be a little learning curve involved with positioning the ramp and the angle. I watched a few other dockings at that exit, and they didn’t have the problem that you saw, so it’s not happening every time.”

Driscoll wrote that the doors were replaced this year, and were not part of the $18 million midlife refurbishment completed in 2018.

The doors on the entire 01 deck were replaced for $101,730 by Thames Shipyard & Repair Co. in Connecticut, as part of a $589,000 overhaul and dry-dock repairs on the ferry. That’s roughly $20,000 per door, Driscoll wrote. 

“Whether we or the contractor ends up being the party to make an adjustment to the door, if any is in order, will depend on what needs to be done,” Driscoll wrote in answer to a follow-up question. “Finally, there has not been an assessment yet as to whether or not the door needs to be repainted.”