SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 8, 2013

Ferry to get $200K engine overhaul

SALEM — One of the engines on the city’s commuter ferry will get an overhaul in the coming months.

The estimated $200,000 repair will be complete by May 23 when the ferry season opens, said Alison Nolan, general manager at Boston Harbor Cruises.

Last week, the City Council approved a five-year contract with Boston Harbor Cruises to operate the city’s high-speed catamaran between Salem and Boston.

This winter’s overhaul of the ferry’s starboard (right-side) engine is routine preventative maintenance. The ferry’s port engine was done last spring, Nolan said.

“It’s a very standard thing that you would do with any marine engine,” she said. “You maintain it like you would do on a vehicle. ... Because it’s something that’s routine, you can plan ahead for it.”

The engine manufacturer recommends an overhaul roughly every seven years or 18,000 hours, she said.

The engine work will be paid for out of a capital repairs account maintained by the city that the contractor pays into through the life of the ferry contract for the purposes of making repairs, said Kathleen Winn, deputy director of the city’s Department of Planning and Community Development.

“The good news about going through the rebuild is that in 2013, and the years going forward, it’s going to be essentially a fresh and new vessel mechanically (and) running very well,” Nolan said.

The repair is expected to take roughly 30 days; the boat will be out of the water during the work. Nolan said the job mostly likely will be done at Rose’s Marine in Gloucester.

“We anticipate no interruption to the ferry schedule (because of the engine overhaul),” Nolan said.

The full 2013 Salem-to-Boston ferry schedule is posted at www.bostonharborcruises.com; the first run is scheduled for May 23.

Two new engines were installed on the ferry as the city purchased the used, 149-passenger vessel in 2006.

The ferry operates from the Salem Wharf on Blaney Street.

Bethany Bray can be reached at bbray@salemnews.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.

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