Steamship Authority to Acquire Two Offshore Supply Vessels to Serve Island Routes

Posted: August 16, 2022

FALMOUTH (August 16, 2022) – The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority has announced its intention to purchase two Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs) from Hornbeck Offshore Services of Covington, Louisiana.

The acquisition of the vessels was approved at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Steamship Authority Board on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.

The sister ships, formerly used to service the oil and gas industry off the Gulf Coast, will ultimately replace the open-deck freight vessels M/V Gay Head and M/V Katama. A recent study commissioned by the Steamship Authority identified the two freight vessels as having an expected useful life of less than five years. The two OSVs to be purchased by the Authority, by comparison, have an estimated remaining useful life of at least 25 years.

Initial cost estimates for the acquisition, conversion and re-activation of the two OSVs is approximately $30 million. The Steamship Authority will finance the acquisition of the vessels through the sale of bond anticipation notes within its $100 million bonding limit.

“The purchase and conversion of available OSVs is the most efficient, rapid and cost-effective path to upgrade our fleet and best serve the vehicle and freight transport needs of island residents and visitors,” said Steamship Authority General Manager Robert B. Davis. “The similar design of the vessels also promotes economies of scale through interchangability of vessels for service needs, inventory of spare parts and crew training. Additionally, purchasing these used vessels will put the Authority in a better financial transition to plan for investigate the possible inclusion of alterntive fuel techonlogies into its next newly constructed vessel.”

Following design and engineering work for conversion and reactivation, the first of the newly acquired vessels is expected to be operating on Steamship Authority routes to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket by summer 2023. The Authority has an option to purchase up to two more vessels from Hornbeck by November 30, 2022, with delivery of the vessel(s) by December 31, 2022.

Since 1960, the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority has served as the transportation lifeline to the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard year round. The Steamship Authority is the largest ferry service to the islands and offers the most frequent daily departures for passengers, automobiles, groups and trucks. In 2021, more than 2.7 million passengers and more than 700,000 vehicles were transported to and from the islands. Our U.S. Coast Guard-certified crews are committed to the highest level of safety at sea while our vessels offer comfort and convenience with spacious seating, free Wi-Fi and TV on board.


Note to editors: downloadable photos of the HOS Lode Star and HOS Shooting Star may be found here.