If all goes smoothly, North Ferry could have a new 130-foot boat plying the waters between Shelter Island and Greenport within several weeks, according to Heights Property Owners Corporation General Manager Stella Lagudis.
“The shipyard’s doing a great job,” Ms. Lagudis said about Washburn & Doughty, the East Boothbay, Maine company building the new boat.
The order had been placed last March with the hope that The Menhaden would be here in time to handle the summer crowds. But without it, North Ferry has used the Islander and Greenporter to augment its fleet of larger boats. While the two smaller boats can only accommodate about a dozen vehicles each, The Menhaden has been built to carry about 25.
Even without The Menhaden in the water this summer, the fleet has most of the time managed to avoid excessively long lines to board.
This spring, The Menhaden was launched in waters off East Boothbay, but still work had to be done before it could sail south to the Island.
Mr. Hunt has been in Maine this week to ensure the new engine, which is environmentally friendly and energy efficient, works reliably. The boat is also scheduled to undergo a sea trial this week, Ms. Lagudis said.