Islanders gave an earful to Steamship Authority governors and senior managers Monday at the first meeting on the Vineyard since last month’s calamitous run of ferry breakdowns and cancellations.

General manager Bob Davis read from long, prepared statement. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“We have a reputation problem here that has damaged the Island for the forseeable future,” said Josh Goldstein, owner of the Mansion House hotel in Vineyard Haven and one of more than a dozen Vineyard residents who spoke during the public comment period of the meeting at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven.

“This is our lifeline,” said Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel. “It’s important not to give short shrift to that.”

The comments were in reaction to the spate of breakdowns that went on for three straight weeks in mid-March that caused unprecedented interruptions in service. At one point there were only two freight ferries operating on the Vineyard route. Car reservations were thrown into chaos and the boat line drew sharp criticism for poor communication with the public.

Vineyard governor Marc Hanover called for an outside independent review of boat line business and operating affairs.

But at the meeting Monday Mr. Hanover saw little support from his fellow board members, who refused to join the call for the speedy hiring of a consultant.

“If there was a huge problem internally, we would know it,” said Barnstable governor Robert Jones. “I think this is basically a matter of fine-tuning what we have.”

“I would hate to have a lot of time and resources diverted to something that could be done and should be done in-house,” said Falmouth governor Elizabeth Gladfelter.

Vineyard governor Marc Hanover saw little support from fellow board members in his call for independent review of boat line affairs. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“I have a problem with spending a lot of money on this,” said Nantucket governor Rob Ranney, adding that he has confidence in the ability of general manager Bob Davis to address the problems.

Mr. Hanover pushed back. “I’m just not sure it can be done in-house,” he said.

Only New Bedford governor Moira Tierney said she would back Mr. Hanover’s request.

“None of us live on the Island . . . serving the Vineyard and Nantucket — that’s our primary purpose,” she said.

In the end no vote was taken; instead the governors instructed Mr. Davis to come back in two weeks with an alternative proposal.

At the outset of the meeting Mr. Davis read from a long prepared statement.

Addressing complaints about poor communication with the public, he said the boat line will begin interviewing candidates for the recently-created position of communications director. The application deadline is April 27. A significant number of people have applied, he said.

Mr. Davis added that the SSA will make changes to its email program, which has delivered some messages days after they were sent.

Two other areas Mr. Davis cited as needing immediate improvement were information technology — SSA computers have crashed multiple times this year — and vessel operations, including scheduling turnaround times so that ferries are not delayed by loading and unloading.

“We would like to review arrival and departure times,” he said.

He conceded that an outside consultant could be useful in one way way

Mansion House owner Josh Goldstein: “We have a reputation problem here that has damaged the Island for the forseeable future.” — Mark Alan Lovewell

“One area we may need a consultant to look at is our maintenance program,” Mr. Davis said, adding that he has identified an experienced contractor who could begin work soon.

Later during public comment, Islanders detailed disappointments and inconveniences such as missing medical appointments, waiting 45 minutes for shuttle buses and lining up fruitlessly for canceled boats with no information from the boat line.

“There were hundreds of people stranded in Woods Hole,” said Tisbury resident Jaime Hamlin, who was trying to get home to the Vineyard during the cancellation crisis. “AT&T was down. The website was crashed. Nobody came out and said we needed to get a hotel.”

Not every comment was aggrieved in tone. Mike Carroll of Tisbury praised the board.

 “I think you did a great job with what you had to work with . . . Nobody starved. Nobody ran out of heat. Nobody ran out of gasoline. I think that says it all,” Mr. Carroll said.

In other business at the meeting, Mr. Davis announced that the ferry Martha’s Vineyard has once again been pulled from service and sent to the boat line’s maintenance facility in Fairhaven. SSA maintenance technicians will work alongside staff from Senesco Marine to correct deficiencies in the $17 million-plus mid-life refurbishment of the vessel.

The punch list of remaining tasks has dwindled to 126, ranging from ceiling tiles with mismatched colors to “periodic sewer gas odors,” Mr. Davis said.

The work is expected to be done by May 3 so the vessel can be back on the Vineyard route by May 5, he said. The Woods Hole is filling in for the Martha’s Vineyard’s runs, with the Katama subbing similarly for the Woods Hole.

Asked by Mr. Hanover about the status of slip work in Woods Hole that has been causing ferries to run off schedule, Mr. Davis said the work is expcted to wrap up by the second week in May.

General counsel Steven Sayers gave an update on feasibility studies exploring possible freight and trash hauling between the Vineyard and New Bedford. Reports from outside consultants working on the studies will be available in the next month, he said.