Steamships and Ferries

Islander Ruptures on Rocks Sea Disaster Averted

The motor semi Islander struck submerged rocks moments after leaving the Oak Bluffs wharf at 9:15 Wednesday morning and began taking on water through five holes ripped in her hull. But the vessel’s captain, Antone Jardin, wrestled the foundering ship back to port, averting a major disaster and possible sinking of the ship. The cause of the mishap is under investigation by the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety office in Boston, but Coast Guard officials said yesterday it appears that a previously unplotted rock in the channel may have caused the damage. Earlier reports that a key buoy had drifted out of place were discounted by the Coast Guard and Steamship Authority officials.

The New Nantucket Makes Herself at Home in Oak Bluffs

Pennant-bedecked and fresh paint, the Steamship Authority’s newest ($3.8 million) and biggest ferryboat (230 feet, 1,000 passengers, 494 net tons of freight), the motor vessel Nantucket, docked Wednesday at the Oak Bluffs wharf for public inspection. The Regional High School band and hundreds of cheering spectators had welcomed her to Woods Hole at the end of her 871-mile voyage from her Jacksonville, Fla., shipyard birthplace. She goes into service from the mainland to Oak Bluffs and Nantucket today.

Nobska Grounded in Heavy Fog Off Oak Bluffs Beach

Passersby near the Oak Bluffs public beach were startled yesterday morning when, eerily, out of a think morning fog, crept the bow of a large white steamer heading straight toward shore. Moments later, the passengers aboard the boat must have been equally astonished. The Nobska, oldest of the Steamship Authority’s fleet, missed the wharf because of the fog, and ran aground about 50 feet offshore and 200 years south of the Authority wharf.

Uncatena Launched To Cheers, Bubbles: All Three Authority Wives Swing Bottles

Thrice blessed, the motor vessel Uncatena slid down the ways at Blout's shipyard in Warren, R.I., with the high tide on Sunday evening. After her fitting out, she will arrive at Woods Hole before long to join the rest of the Steamship Authority's fleet.

The triple blessing came during the christening ceremony, when not just the customary one bottle of champagne but three were smashed against the Uncatena's bow, each wielded by an Authority member's wife, the whole process making for an excess of bubbled and splintered glass.

There is Balm in Gilead - Governor Signs Boat Bill

Governor [Foster] Furcolo signed the new Steamship Authority bill shortly before 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Under the terms of the new law, the present Authority will be replaced Jan. 1, 1961, by a new Authority of three members, one of Dukes County - who have already persuaded Robert M. Love to accept the appointment - one named by the selectmen of Nantucket, and one by the selectmen of Falmouth. New Bedford will be responsible for 40 per cent of the deficit for 1960, but after the end of this year will have no responsibility, no representation, and no guarantee of service.

Bill to Free Islands from City Goes to Governor

Only the signature of Governor Furcolo now remains to turn into law the bill setting up a new Steamship Authority with three members, locally appointed, to represent the Vineyard Nantucket, and Falmouth, and with final emancipation from New Bedford. State House observers and others believe that the governor will sign the measure promptly, although the strong political pressure from New Bedford is not discounted.
 

Ferry Troubles Back in 1700s

These troubled times are not the only occasion on which inhabitants of Martha's Vineyard have had difficulty obtaining passage by boat to the mainland. Ask the oldest inhabitant as to boat service, and the chances are that he will refer to the good old days when no difficulties presented themselves and life was sweet and peaceful.

The Battle’s O’re the Strife is Done - Hallelujah!

The long boat strike came to an end last night after the ratification of an agreement with the unlicensed men closely following the pattern of that previously reached with the licensed men. The agreement is, in essence, the modified 0-4-4 proposal which had received widespread publicity.
 
The vote of the union for ratification after a prolonged session lasting until 6 last night, was 90 to 6. The Authority voted unanimously, 4 to 0, for ratification.
 

Reviews 150 Years of Steamship History

Dealing with the more than 150 years-history of steamboat transportation between the Island and mainland, Mr. Love styled his talk, The Evolution of Operation, Wood Boilers to Gas Turbines. He also brought out the little-known fact that far from being a new idea, the inclusion of Hyannis in the Island boat system was carried out over a long period of years and with a high degree of success.

Steamer History Is Vineyard History

Steamer history is Vineyard history, even now, for the arrival of the air age has not diminished the necessity of boat service.

It is likely that regular boat service between Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland was being operated by the year 1800. This does not mean daily service, however, for in the old times the packets and even the steamboats that followed them, would run on certain days of the week. Sailings were arranged according to the time of year and the needs of traffic.

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