Steamship Authority governors voted Tuesday to issue up to $26 million in bonds to fund ongoing waterside construction at the Woods Hole terminal and repay $5.66 million in bonds issued in 2009 that will mature over the next few years.

Authorized by state law to issue bonds up to $100 million, the boat line currently has $73.45 million in outstanding bond obligations, treasurer/comptroller Mark Rozum told the board.

The SSA retires about $7.5 million in bond debt each year, with $7.52 million set to be retired March 1, Mr. Rozum said. That will reduce the outstanding balance to $65.93 million, leaving more head room for the $26 million in new bonds authorized Tuesday.

New Bedford governor Moira Tierney challenged the plan to come within $10 million of the boat line’s bond limit.

“What would we do if we wanted to build a boat right now?” she asked. “How would we finance it?”

“At this point, we’d be hard pressed to build a new boat,” Mr. Davis answered.

“We would have to go back [to the state legislature] and get an increased bonding limit.”

The last bond increase, from $75 million to $100 million, was approved by the legislature and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick in 2014.

Mr. Davis said the Woods Hole — the SSA’s newest ferry, launched in 2016 — cost about $40 million.

Building the same boat today would cost at least $45 million, Mr. Davis said, because of evolving standards for engines and other vessel systems.

He said the first step toward adding a new ferry is to ascertain the need, which he said would be part of the upcoming capital budget process.

“We do 10-year projections,” Mr. Davis said.

The SSA’s last 10-year projection had set this year for design and engineering work toward its next new ferry, he also said.

“I’d be remiss in my responsibilities not to say that I am concerned,” Ms. Tierney said. “If we wanted to make a boat today, we really don’t have the financial wherewithal to do it.”

The meeting took place on a day of unexpected tumult for the boat line, whose website had crashed in pre-dawn hours on the first day of booking summer reservations for the Vineyard route. Thousands of frustrated customers were unable to access the site until afternoon. In a formal statement, Mr. Davis apologized for the problems.

Meanwhile, in other business Tuesday, the general manager said the recent elimination of longtime maintenance and engineering director Carl Walker’s position is a positive, with the department coming under the authority of director of marine operations Mark Amundsen.

“I feel strongly that this change will not only begin the process of making the authority’s structure less flat . . . but also aid in communication in our operations department,” Mr. Davis said.

“The engineering staff and the vessel crews will be under the same command now,” he added.

He briefly mentioned Mr. Walker, whose 24-year career with the Steamship Authority ended abruptly earlier this month.

“I do want to take this time to thank him for his years of service,” Mr. Davis said.

Also Tuesday, governors received an update on work at the Woods Hole terminal, part of a sweeping reconstruction project that has swelled in cost to at least $10 million more than its original $60 million price tag.

Ms. Tierney balked at approving an $885,681 change order for BIA Studio, the Boston-based architects designing the terminal and its much-discussed ticket building.

“I don’t feel comfortable approving it,” she said of the firm’s bill.

“I think they need to participate a little bit more in taking a little bit of a haircut, as we have,” Ms. Tierney said, referring to rising costs that have added to the project’s expense over two years of revisions to the building design.

Her colleagues on the board agreed to table the change order for a month and ask Mr. Davis to have the architects’ billing reviewed by a qualified third party.

On Wednesday, the boat line will air the newest, single-story design concept for the terminal building at two open house sessions at the Palmer avenues offices, from 3 to 4 and 6 to 7 p.m. Diagrams are posted online.