Mass. agency cites substandard work for ferry breakdowns

Ryan Ferry2 Met

(WOODS HOLE, Mass.) — Facing criticism for recent breakdowns on ferries to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, the head of the Steamship Authority has cited a Rhode Island-based contractor for many of the mechanical failures and said the agency will demand money from the company for substandard work, The Boston Globe reported.

Three of the agency’s vessels were sent to Senesco Marine for long-scheduled upgrades in recent months, including an $18 million midlife overhaul for the ferry Martha’s Vineyard. All three vessels subsequently came back with problems, according to Steamship Authority General Manager Robert B. Davis.

Internal documents show that Martha’s Vineyard had more than 250 issues, including a pervasive stench of sewage and mechanical problems that agency staff attributed to “poor workmanship” and “improperly installed” parts. Sometimes multiple failures sprang up in a single week on the ferries, resulting in more than 550 cancellations so far this year.

Officials at Senesco and its parent company, Reinauer Transportation Cos., did not respond to numerous Globe requests for comment.

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By Professional Mariner Staff