Faulty hose, crew shortage causes ferry cancellations

The SSA ferry Martha's Vineyard, shown here docked in Woods Hole, experienced cancellations on Wednesday morning from mechanical issues. —Eunki Seonwoo


Mechanical issues on the Steamship Authority (SSA) ferry Martha’s Vineyard caused trip cancellations on the morning of Wednesday, April 3. 

A leak in the Martha’s Vineyard’s reduction gear hose halted operations for the vessel canceling the 7 am departure from Woods Hole and the 8:15 am departure from Vineyard Haven. The 7 am departure had loaded passengers and vehicles and was headed toward the Vineyard before it returned to port.

“Our maintenance personnel are en route to replace the hose,” SSA communications director Sean Driscoll said Wednesday morning. Later in the morning, Driscoll said the hose had been replaced and the Martha’s Vineyard would make its next trip at 9:30 am. 

The 8:15 am departure from Woods Hole aboard the Island Home, which experienced a slight delay due an engine cable that needed to be replaced, was more crowded than usual with those who couldn’t make the 7 am trip joining the ride.

However, the Martha’s Vineyard’s troubles weren’t over as the vessel experienced further mechanical issues. The 12 pm ferry from Woods Hole was cancelled as well as the 1:15 pm departure from Vineyard Haven. 

“The MV was a continuation of the same issue from this morning,” Driscoll said. 

The Martha’s Vineyard had a couple of more cancellations later in the afternoon. 

Additionally, a crew shortage aboard the Sankaty canceled the 11:05 am departure from Woods Hole and the 12:20 pm departure from Vineyard Haven. Driscoll said this was a single crew member and the SSA is working to find a replacement. 

The Steamship Authority is also warning of ferry cancellations and delays on Wednesday afternoon into Thursday because of a storm warning. The National Weather Service issued a warning in effect from 2 pm Wednesday until 8 am Thursday, forecasting east winds to 40 knots with gusts up to 50 knots and seas as high as 9 feet expected.

The SSA is waiving change and cancellation fees for travel scheduled for all day Wednesday and for Thursday morning. To change or modify a reservation, visit steamshipauthority.com, call the reservation office at 508-477-8600, or visit a terminal.


  1. Failures on top of failures on top of failures. Zero accountability! Now we can’t count on the SSA to make Drs appointments, flights, exc. This is inexcusable! Why does Bob Davis still have a job? When is enough enough? I’m beyond disgusted!

  2. Bob Davis still has a job because of the Board of Governors
    The Board of Governors have a job because of the County Commissioners.
    The County Commissioners have a job because of the voters.
    Should you still have a job as a voter.
    Democracy gives us Bob Davis.
    Would you have it any other way?
    Should the SSA function be privatized?
    Have Bob Davis report to investors
    How much would the rates go up?

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