Steamships and Ferries

At 780,000 Miles, Ferry Martha's Vineyard Gets a Makeover

Nearly 25 years after the M/V Martha’s Vineyard began her daily seven-mile passages between Woods Hole and the Vineyard, the Steamship Authority ferry is getting a $17.4 million makeover.

Islander

Going, Going, Gone Online: Ferry Islander is Sold on Ebay

A farmer and trucker from upstate New York bought the Islander this week for $23,600, placing bid 58 on Ebay Monday for the vessel that ferried Islanders to and from the rest of America for over fifty years.

The auction looked like it might be a humiliating episode with the old girl fetching a starting bid of just $10, with offers crawling to a few thousand in the first days.

But after a flurry of late offers from a total of 19 bidders it finally went to Donald Slovak of Valatie, N.Y.

Final Farewell to Historic Steamer Nobska

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.

Steamers of 20th Century Bound Island Ever Closer to Mainland

She was, quite simply, enormous.
 
On those mornings or afternoons when she sailed past her older sister ship, it was possible to stand on the uppermost deck of the new steamship Islander and look down on the roof of the pilothouse of the sidewheeler Uncatena.
 
Though only 21 years separated the launching of this last sidewheeler from this newest propeller ship, the Uncatena belonged technologically to the middle of the 19th century, the Islander to the latest advances of the 20th.

Bon Voyage to the Steamer Naushon

A chapter in American maritime history will close Tuesday when the last car and passenger-carrying steamboat in North America sails out of Woods Hole harbor.

The retirement of the SS Naushon from the Steamship Authority fleet marks the end of a 170-year era of steam ferry service along the Eastern seaboard.

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.

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