Topsail Schooner and Boatline Spar Over Town Harbor Space

Since 1964, the tall ship Shenandoah has brought picturesque maritime charm to Vineyard Haven, moored in the same place in the harbor. But maybe not for much longer.

The Army Corps of Engineers has written to the owners of the 150-foot wooden sloop, the Douglas family, threatening to suspend the permit for the ship to moor there unless they can come up with some solution that resolves persistent complaints from the Steamship Authority that the Shenandoah is a hazard to ferry operations.

Law to Protect Right Whales May Hamper Ferry Operations

Legislation designed to protect migrating right whales could have an unintended, devastating impact on ferry services to the Vineyard and Nantucket, the Steamship Authority has warned.

Under draft rules attached to the legislation, any sighting of a right whale would trigger the imposition of a strict, 10-knot speed limit on ships more than 65 feet long, operating within a so-called “dynamic management area” with a 36-mile radius, for 15 days from the time of the sighting.

Uncle Sam and the SSA

Uncle Sam and the SSA

The federal government sometimes provides better entertainment than late night television.

Case in point is the Steamship Authority and the latest snafu over the use of federal stimulus money earmarked for reconstruction work on the ferry terminals in Oak Bluffs and Hyannis.

First comes the problem with the material used for the dolphins on the Hyannis project. Turns out that some of the material is made in China and the rules for stimulus money require that all steel be made in the USA.

SSA to Receive Federal Funding, Scraps Winter Fast Ferry Service

The Steamship Authority foresees another tough economic year ahead, with its 2010 preliminary draft budget projecting a further decrease in operating revenue.

The draft, presented at Tuesday’s meeting of the board of governors on Nantucket, expects passenger revenues to decline 2.1 per cent and freight revenue to fall 4.6 per cent.

Even when offset by an expected 11.4 per cent rise in rent revenue from barge operations, the overall decline is expected to be 2.1 per cent. Total operating revenue is expected to be just over $81 million.

SSA Gives Hy-Line License Fee Relief

Steamship Authority governors have opted to take a hit of up to $160,000 to boat line revenues this year so high-speed services to Nantucket can be maintained in the face of falling patronage.

SSA Parking Options To Increase, As Will School Boatline Fees

By PETER BRANNEN

Frequent travelers off-Island will have more offsite parking options this off-season as the Steamship Authority voted on Tuesday to approve a $225 parking permit option that would run from January to May.

SSA Plans Fare Hikes For the Coming Year, to Cover Higher Costs

The Steamship Authority is set to hit travelers to and from the Vineyard with fare increases totaling more than $1 million next year.

Boat line management proposed the fare hikes on the Vineyard route, as well as increases of $1.5 million on the Nantucket route, as part of the 2011 draft budget at this week’s meeting of the SSA governors on Nantucket.

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