The expected return date for MV Race Point was originally April 1. We are waiting on a sign-off from the Coast Guard, as part of their normal process to approve major refits and projects to registered vessels like Race Point. This was due to the fact that after 35 years of service it was time to replace all five engines.
With all the engines out of the ferry the Coast Guard performed extensive hull testing resulting in more steel that had to be removed and replaced than normal. In addition, we unexpectedly had to replace certain fuel, coolant and hydraulic lines. Each engine required drawings for foundation, cooling, exhaust and electrical. All drawings require review and stamped approval by the Coast Guard Marine Safety Council. As the job progressed many of the original drawings required revisions and updates and new issues were found and resolved with the Coast Guard made further comments that had to be addressed. This has been a $1.3mm project with 65% covered by a grant from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust that the Ferry District was able to obtain. Ferry management is in constant touch with Coast Guard officials who are being responsive and understand the importance of Race Point to our operations. We are looking to have the Race Point back in the next few weeks.
This has been a long and difficult process, but one where we’ve used the Volkswagen grant to get badly needed work done while limiting our own expense in a material way. There will be long term benefits and we appreciate everyone’s patience.