The useful life of SSA freight boats is rapidly decreasing

(April 19, 2022) Three Steamship Authority freight boats have only three to five years of useful life left, with the car ferry Nantucket not far behind, according to a marine survey report reviewed by the Boat Line’s board on Tuesday.

the Katama, gay head and Sankaty the freight boats are just over 40 years old, and the Nantucket is 48 years old.

the Nantucket has five to seven years of useful life remaining, according to the survey by Marine Safety Consultants of Fairhaven commissioned by the SSA.

Given the age of the ships, the report came as no surprise to boat line officials. The task now, they said, is to determine a replacement schedule that falls within the SSA’s $100 million bond limit. The boat line has already borrowed $67 million from that cap and is repaying about $7 million a year, with a large payment coming in the next few years, SSA CEO Bob Davis told the board. administration.

“With our capital plan, we are not in a position until the end of 2023 to start building a new vessel,” he said. “It’s a balancing act between our finances and taking into account the need for service.

Options include building new boats or buying and renovating used vessels, he said. The SSA is currently exploring the purchase of ocean-going vessels used for servicing offshore drilling rigs for “cents on the dollar” given the recent downturn in the oil industry.

For full coverage of this story, pick up Thursday Interrogator and mirror.

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