The ferry Nantucket was repaired and cleared for service by the Coast Guard late Sunday after a problem with a rudder indicator sidelined the ferry for most of the day, causing huge backups on the Vineyard route.

A spokesman for Regan Communications in Boston told the Gazette in a voicemail Sunday evening that the ferry was expected to be back in service Monday morning.

Long queue for the ferry Island Home in Woods Hole Sunday night. — Frank Brunelle

“The repairs have been completed and the vessel has been cleared by the Coast Guard, so the Nantucket will be back on its regular schedule in the morning,” spokesman Geoff Spillane said.

The ferry went out of service around midday Sunday, disrupting travel on a day when traffic was heavy in both directions, with weekenders leaving and hundreds of Islanders coming home.

Speaking to the Gazette by phone early Sunday evening, SSA general manager Bob Davis said the problem was a rudder indicator. He confirmed that the ferry had been out of service since noontime and remained tied up in the slip on the Woods Hole side.

Just before 6 p.m. the freight ferry Gay Head was en route to help clear the backlog of cars, particularly in Woods Hole.

“We are looking at many vehicles traveling back to the Island, and it’s going to be tight tonight,” Mr. Davis said. “We are asking people who are willing to park their cars and come over on foot, and come back to get their cars tomorrow,” he added.

He said the lift decks were in use on the ferry Island Home as well, as the boat line scrambled to accommodate vehicles for reservations that had been left stranded by the breakdown.

He also said repairs were under way on the Nantucket.

The rudder indicator is a sensor, and when the problem was detected, Mr. Davis said it was determined that the ferry would not sail. Safety was never an issue, he also said.

“There was always complete control of the vessel,” he said.

On Sunday evening cars and people queued up in Woods Hole in a busy scene more reminiscent of a summer holiday weekend than an off weekend in early November. Just after 6:30 p.m. the ferry Gay Head was idling at the west entrance to Woods Hole, waiting for the Island Home, which was berthed in the only available slip, number two. (Slip one is under construction and the Nantucket was tied up in slip three.)

Using lift decks, the Island Home had cleared about 70 cars from the lot, but there was a string of headlights backed up the hill beyond the bridge, apparent reservation-holders. All foot traffic was being accommodated, and ferries were running late.

Tom Dunlop contributed reporting.