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South Ferry’s newest boat comes home to Shelter Island; Southern Cross will be in service this weekend

South Ferry’s newest addition to its fleet, Southern Cross, arrived at the ferry company’s maintenance dock just after 11 p.m. on Monday night.

The $3.5 million state-of-the-art ferry sailed from Warren, R.I., where it was made by Blount Boats, with a crew of South Ferry’s Chief Engineer Joe Clark, Maintenance Forman Capt. Liam Schultz and Project Supervisor Capt. Michael Early.

“Southern Cross is ready to go and will be put into service over Memorial Day weekend,” said South Ferry President Cliff Clark.

The 101-foot-long, 40-foot-wide boat was christened with the traditional champagne bottle broken across the bow in February, but the pandemic’s shut down of businesses delayed its maiden voyage to Shelter Island.

Southern Cross will bring the company’s fleet to five boats, with four of them “101-footers,” Mr. Clark said. The Captain Bill Clark, a smaller boat, will be kept in service for the next eight years or so, Mr. Clark said, when it will be replaced by a larger boat.

South Ferry previously had a boat named Southern Cross; that name was changed to the Lt. Joseph J. Theinert to honor the memory of the Islander killed in the line of duty in Afganistan.

Southern Cross’s first crew, who made thetrip form Rhode Island to Shelter Island. From left, Maintenance Foreman Capt. Liam Schultz, Project Supervisor Capt. Michael Early and South Ferry’s Chief Engineer Joe Clark. (Credit: Cliff Clark)