Steamship Authority Acquiring Two Vessels

The two vessels to be acquired by the Steamship Authority from Hornbeck Offshore Services of Covington, Louisiana. Courtesy of the Steamship Authority.

FALMOUTH – The Steamship Authority has announced that it will purchase two Offshore Supply Vessels to add to its fleet. 

The sister ships were used for the oil and gas industry off the Gulf Coast and will eventually replace the open-deck freight vessels M/V Gay Head and M/V Katama, said Authority Communications Director Sean Driscoll. 

“We’ve been looking into this for more than a year and a half now as part of our own internal knowledge that it was time to start looking at new vessels. This is not a sudden decision, I know it might seem that way  to some spectators, but we’ve been working long and hard on this for more than a year,” said Driscoll.

The vessels have an estimated remaining useful life of at least 25 years, said Authority Communications Director Sean Driscoll. Recently, the M/V Gay Head and M/V Katama were estimated by a study commissioned by the Authority to have an expected useful life of less than five years remaining. 

“The opportunity for us to be able to buy used at this caliber is one we could not pass up, because there is starting to be an uptick in demand for these kinds of boats because of the offshore wind industry. So we thought the time was right to move forward,” said Driscoll. 

Following engineering work for reactivation, the first of the acquired vessels are expected to be operating routes by next summer. 

Driscoll said that the Authority will perform public outreach on what to name the new vessels in the coming weeks. They must be named within 30 days of closing the sale, which is expected to be complete in September.

The acquisition announcement comes as some local port communities face challenges amid the growing need for freight to Martha’s Vineyard.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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