Post by SS Shasta on Sept 13, 2010 16:57:12 GMT -8
It looks like Alaska may fall into a similar trap as Washington State by restricting new AMHS vessel construction to Alaska shipyards. The Washington State policy has come under criticism by the recent report, INDEPENDENT REVIEW AND REPORT ON WSF OPERATIONS. Such restrictions eliminates the use of Federal funds in new vessel construction. It is also claimed that such a policy sharply increases costs and results in project delays.
Alaska has two yards that might have some capability for new vessel construction; they are located in Ketchikan and Seward. Unfortunately the work completed by the Ketchikan yard has received rather mixed reviews. Please see the comments posted today related to the experimental ferry Susitna which was built in the Ketchikan yard. Ketchikan Ship and Drydock seems to have a unique advantage for repairs and annual maintenance on AMHS vessels. Again, its track record has been rather "mixed."
A good example was the recent repairs/maintenance on MV Columbia. The vessel had been in a 7 month winter layup in Ketchikan, yet it was several weeks late in returning for summer service. MV Malaspina served as its replacement for several additional voyages on the Bellingham.
Would Alaska be much better off to give more serious consideration to this scheme?