Thursday, January 15, 2009
Watch that ferry barge
by Larry Geller
Commenter Ferry Snoop Dog added some perceptive comments on my Superferry drydock article this morning. I won’t reproduce them here, but please click and check it out.
The writer seems to know quite a bit about how the Coast Guard schedules inspections, and proposes some theory about what may be behind the company’s announcement that reservations will be cancelled and the ship will be drydocked in February.
Although it’s not the main point, at the end, Ferry Snoop Dog writes:
"Also, what happened to the repair of Kahului barge? There was no time to put repairs out to bid but nothing's yet been done... are they looking to do this at the same time as dry-dock?"
"Therein lies the fourth 'leg' to the 'table'. USCG likely gave...60-90 days to affect repair of barge (since it is integral to ops). Do the math and you will likely find this ddock falls within that window. I could never figure out how USCG did not require a haul on barge in first place."
This is interesting to me because we can speculate on repairs, welds, fuel costs, and other aspects of the business, but as outsiders it’s hard to verify any theory. This one we can see, it’s external. If the barge repairs begin while the ship is in drydock, then it adds credence to Snoop Dog’s observations and theory. Of course, it also makes sense for them to fix the barge while it is not in use, but timing is everything.
So if anyone on Maui sees work happening on the barge while the ship is sidelined, please let us ferry aficionados know.
P.S. Don’t miss the Superferry Chronicles book tour. Oahu is coming up soon. Details are on my spiffy new Bulletin Board section in the left column. There will be a few radio interviews too, but I don’t have the details yet.
It occurs to me that all the filed regarding the US Coast Guard’s involvement with the SF should be subject for the federal Freedom of Information Act. I’ve never filed one and know it can take a while but I’m surprised many who are bulldogging the details haven’t... and that goes for MARAD too.