Steamship Authority Will Buy Schamonchi; Deal Opens Door to New Bedford Service

NANTUCKET - Placing a surprise trump card on the table in the testy and complicated match over opening up ferry service from New Bedford, Steamship Authority governors announced yesterday that they will take immediate steps to buy the ferry Schamonchi, a privatepassenger ferry that operates between New Bedford and the Vineyard.

New Bedford SSA Maneuvers Fail

New Bedford SSA Maneuvers Fail

By JULIA WELLS
Gazette Senior Writer

The Falmouth Steamship Authority governor checked the city of New Bedford in its own game of ferry chess yesterday, refusing to honor an 11th-hour request from the Whaling City to extend a trial high-speed ferry project, after the city solicitor abruptly pulled the plug on the project two weeks ago.

Kass Plan Asks Change at SSA

The governor's ferry task force that recently staged a four-month crash course on the Steamship Authority has now opened the door for a major overhaul of the public boat line that has served the two Islands for 41 years.

SSA Management Sets a Course for Collision on Security Measures

SSA Management Sets a Course for Collision on Security Measures

By JULIA WELLS
Gazette Senior Writer

Turning a deaf ear on the growing uproar among Islanders over a controversial new policy that will bar people from staying in their cars on board ferries, senior managers at the Steamship Authority announced flatly this week that the policy is expected to go into effect sometime later this month.

Business Leaders Want to Say: Boat Reservations Are a Mess

Business Leaders Want to Say: Boat Reservations Are a Mess

By ALEXIS TONTI

The Steamship Authority vehicle reservation system is broken.

That was the take-home message this week at a forum that started as a focused debate about the boat line's new guaranteed standby policy and expanded to a broad indictment of the way the SSA books passengers.

The forum, hosted by the Dukes County Commission, was held Wednesday at the Vineyard Transit Authority administration building.

County Commission Backs SSA Governor in Dispute Over Tisbury Embarkation Fee

Steamship Authority chairman Marc Hanover was not looking for support from the Dukes County Commission Wednesday in his continuing battle with the Tisbury board of selectmen over ferry fee money. But he got it anyway.

Tisbury Trades Barbs with Boat Line Over Embarkation Fee Spending Plan

Sparking a fresh war of words between the Steamship Authority and the town of Tisbury, the Vineyard boat line governor said yesterday he may call for the state attorney general to look into how the town plans to use its ferry fee revenues.

Topsail Schooner and Boatline Spar Over Town Harbor Space

Since 1964, the tall ship Shenandoah has brought picturesque maritime charm to Vineyard Haven, moored in the same place in the harbor. But maybe not for much longer.

The Army Corps of Engineers has written to the owners of the 150-foot wooden sloop, the Douglas family, threatening to suspend the permit for the ship to moor there unless they can come up with some solution that resolves persistent complaints from the Steamship Authority that the Shenandoah is a hazard to ferry operations.

Law to Protect Right Whales May Hamper Ferry Operations

Legislation designed to protect migrating right whales could have an unintended, devastating impact on ferry services to the Vineyard and Nantucket, the Steamship Authority has warned.

Under draft rules attached to the legislation, any sighting of a right whale would trigger the imposition of a strict, 10-knot speed limit on ships more than 65 feet long, operating within a so-called “dynamic management area” with a 36-mile radius, for 15 days from the time of the sighting.

Uncle Sam and the SSA

Uncle Sam and the SSA

The federal government sometimes provides better entertainment than late night television.

Case in point is the Steamship Authority and the latest snafu over the use of federal stimulus money earmarked for reconstruction work on the ferry terminals in Oak Bluffs and Hyannis.

First comes the problem with the material used for the dolphins on the Hyannis project. Turns out that some of the material is made in China and the rules for stimulus money require that all steel be made in the USA.

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