Steamship chooses Aquinnah and Monomoy as ferry names

HOS Lode Star is one of two offshore supply vessels the SSA is acquiring. The new ferries will be named Aquinnah and Monomoy. — Courtesy SSA

The Steamship Authority board has picked names for two offshore supply vessels it plans to convert into ferries. The vessels will replace the freight ferries Katama and Gay Head, which are nearing the ends of their useful lives. 

SSA general manager Robert Davis told the board Tuesday SSA staff received about 9,000 different name suggestions through a naming contest. A meeting earlier this month with the Port Council, SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll said some names that referenced “Jaws” and “Ferry McFerryface” were ruled out.

Following a 4-0 vote (chair Moira Tierney was not in attendance), the vessels will be named Aquinnah and Monomoy. Originally named Lode Star and Shooting Star, the vessels cost $11.3 million.

Falmouth board representative Peter Jeffrey said it made sense to replace the Gay Head with a vessel named Aquinnah.  

Nantucket select board member Brooke Mohr pointed out Monomoy encompasses both the Cape and Nantucket.

Davis has previously described the two vessels as 240 feet long (though registered at 221 feet long) and stated they would be 15 to 20 feet longer after conversion. The acquisition, conversion, and associated costs are expected to top out at $32 million.