Measure twice, cut once. The old adage might well be adapted to the situation real estate broker Janalyn Travis-Messer found herself in when she arranged transport of a modular house onto Shelter Island.
Ms. Travis-Messer has contracted workers preparing a site on North Ferry and Hedges roads for a modular rental house. The problem is she hadn’t considered that the ferry slips wouldn’t be wide enough to accommodate the house.
Enter Cliff Clark, president of South Ferry, who admitted that when he first contemplated the project, he wasn’t sure it could be done. And that’s from a man who has organized shipping boulders weighing several tons to Shelter Island.
While Ms. Travis-Messer described Sunday’s effort to bring the house to Shelter Island “like a ballet,” Mr. Clark said he wouldn’t go that far, but confirmed everything went smoothly. He credits a team of professionals who worked together to make it happen without incident.
“It was a neat collaborative effort,” Mr. Clark said.
An experienced South Ferry crew worked with Brad Allen of Long Island Crane and John DeStefano, a tractor trailer trucker who brought the house to North Haven.
Mr. Clark also enlisted Gene Shepherd, who operates his own cesspool company on the Island. Mr. Shepherd brought one of his trucks to serve as a counterweight on the boat.
The structure had to be lifted from the truck by crane and then placed on a boat that was outside the slip for the ride to the Island where the crane would then lift it off the boat and back onto the trailer truck.
The entire process began at 6:30 a.m. Sunday and was completed at 4:30 p.m.
The cost of the effort to bring the house onto the Island is something Ms. Travis-Messer hasn’t yet tallied, she said.
One part of the structure is now on the site while a neighbor has allowed Ms. Travis-Messer to store other parts on his property. It will be sometime in late April when the pieces come together for the house, Ms. Travis-Messer said.
A one-story ranch, the house is planned as a single family rental unit. Ms. Travis-Messer has said she hoped to arrange for construction of other rental units around the Island.
But next time, she promised, she’ll be sure future structures can fit within the ferry slips.