Boat Line Sees Fuel Cost Spike
James Kinsella

Facing the possibility of up to $1 million in unplanned fuel costs, Steamship Authority management is taking a hard look at slowing down its ferries to and from Martha's Vineyard as a way to cut costs.

SSA General manager Wayne Lamson said yesterday that reducing speeds would be "at the top of our list" for reining in operating costs at the boat line.

The Steamship Authority has forecasted operating expenses this year of $63.5 million.

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Tisbury Trades Barbs with Boat Line Over Embarkation Fee Spending Plan
James Kinsella

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.

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SSA Revises Oak Bluffs Terminal Plan
James Kinsella

The coastal bank just to the north of the Steamship Authority terminal in Oak Bluffs won't win any beauty awards.

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County Commission Backs SSA Governor in Dispute Over Tisbury Embarkation Fee
James Kinsella

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.

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Boat Line Receives No Offers to Purchase Ferry Flying Cloud
James Kinsella

Not one taker stepped forward Wednesday to put in a bid on the Steamship Authority's high-speed ferry, the Flying Cloud.

The lack of interest in the vessel, for which the boat line hoped to obtain at least $5 million, is the latest chapter in the Flying Cloud's mostly troubled six-year history at the boat line. The SSA paid $8 million for the ferry in 2000.

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Boatline Governors Eye Commuter Book Rules to Change and Simplify
James Kinsella

NANTUCKET - The Steamship Authority is considering loosening restrictions on the transfer of regular tickets, as well as on the 10-ticket discount books that are a staple of ferry travel for Vineyard residents.

At present, the boat line restricts the use of regular tickets and of the 10-ticket books to their buyers.

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SSA Ferry Island Home Launches with Fanfare at Mississippi Boat Yard
Mark Alan Lovewell

MOSS POINT, MISS. - Marking history for the Steamship Authority and its fleet of ferries that ply the routes between the Cape and Islands, the Island Home - a 255-foot, double-ended ferry that will replace the venerable MV Islander - was launched Friday morning at the Gulf Coast shipyard where she was built.

More than 300 onlookers cheered and applauded, with air horns wailing, as the still unfinished vessel - freshly painted black and white - slid sideways on five greased tracks and landed in the calm Escatawpa River with a giant splash.

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Final Farewell to Historic Steamer Nobska
Jim Hickey

Time has finally run out for the Nobska, the last coastal steamer in America and the car and passenger vessel that served the Vineyard between 1925 and 1973. Preliminary work to dismantle the historic vessel began in the Charlestown Navy Yard early this week, and on Wednesday the wrecking ball came down on her upper deck.

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SSA Ferry Ready for Sea Journey from Mississippi to Fairhaven

The ferry Island Home is set to make the long trip home.

Steamship Authority general manager Wayne Lamson said this week that the double-ended, $32 million car and passenger ferry is due to leave the VT Halter shipyard at Moss Point, Miss., this weekend to make the 2,000-mile trip to the Steamship Authority maintenance facility in Fairhaven.

The Island Home was originally due for delivery in June of 2006, but construction was set back some seven months by Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, just after work had begun on the ferry.

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Island Home Pays Surprise Visit to Vineyard Haven
Mike Seccombe

Someone referred to her as the Islander on steroids. Others called her the cruise ship. One Steamship Authority worker, gazing up at the huge bulk of the ferry Island Home tied up at Woods Hole, simply called her a monster.

Whatever the metaphor, you get the picture. This is a big boat.

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