Due to serious mechanical issues the Winthrop Ferry service will be suspended until repairs can be made, according to Town Manager Austin Faison.
Last week the Winthrop Ferry, Valkyrie was out of service on June 25 with a problem in the port engine. Then town officials announced on June 28 that there were “serious mechanical issues” and service would be suspended until further notice due to “engine malfunctions”.
“The problem is an overheated engine. We may have to replace a cylinder or the entire engine,” Faison said, adding that the town may be looking for an outside operator of the ferry. “The town has done a commendable job running the ferry service.”
The Winthrop Ferry Valkyrie had to suspend service on Wednesday, June 19, and the morning shift on Thursday, June 20 due to a shortage of eligible captains to drive the boat.
Town officials had hope to jump on board the opportunity to utilize the ferry for shuttling people to the new Encore Boston Harbor via the ferry stop at the Aquarium.
“The ferry will be down for the remainder of the week and my office is working hard to continue to service commuters in Winthrop and Quincy,” Faison said. “We are looking how to continue service in the near term.”
Going back in history, the town sought to construct the pier, marina and terminal building between 2003 and 2005. Both were finished by 2012 at a cost of $3,429,993 funded through a Public Works Economic Development (PWED) grant, the Seaport Advisory Council and the Executive Office of Transportation. There is an agreement for the state to purchase the vessel if the town stops operating the ferry. The final cost to build the ferry was $981,252 with the town paying $196,250. Another $28,000 was also paid by the town for electronics and navigation equipment. The town began running the ferry service in March 2016 after having the 73-seat vessel built in Maryland.
Please check the town website at www.town.winthrop.ma.us for further information.