Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
The recent article by Sara Brown (Vineyard Gazette, March 22) illustrates clearly a few problems apparent in our boat line service. In their effort to provide “a little more capacity,” the addition of the vessel Island Home (second vessel of this name) has shown the fallacy of attempting to use a west coast design in Atlantic waters. It also shows up another disadvantage: the lack of interchangeability, in that all vessels should be able to moor at all ports, not to mention spare parts inventory and crew training. However, the oil rig tenders and Governor’s Island ferry have covered peak needs, and this “sub fleet” might be augmented still again.
It is not so much overall size that makes a mooring a challenge, but rather the freeboard (above the waterline and subject to windage) presented as well as the ability to use spring lines if needed. The few drills observed appear perfunctory. Have our vessels ever anchored or towed or been towed? Such are skills not often needed, but one should never say never!
Trip cancellations are unfortunate, whether mechanical or navigational: both do occur.
Port services have been adequate, but a seasonal staging line in Woods Hole for Island automobiles would be of great benefit to Islanders trying to get home.
John M. Boardman, Oak Bluffs