Indian Harbor Ferry Out of Service for Holiday Weekend due to Mechanical Issues

From the Dept of Parks & Rec:

The Department of Parks and Recreation announces a change to the posted ferry schedule to Island Beach for the July 4th weekend.  Due to mechanical issues with the Indian Harbor Ferry, there will only be one ferry with hourly service (10:00am – 7:00pm) to Island Beach for the holiday weekend Saturday, July 2 to Monday, July 4.  

Ferry service to Great Captain Island will not be affected and will operate on its regular posted schedule. 

The Indian Harbor Ferry was built in 1937 and its starboard engine has been in service since the early 1960’s.

Following last operating season, we noticed that in order to provide future service, we would need to conduct significant engine repair and part replacement prior to the 2022 season.    

Parks & Rec proactively sent the boat to the Bridgeport shipyard to be repaired over the winter, however we have faced many challenges due to availability of parts for this old engine coupled with current supply chain issues.  

“We’ve been working closely with the shipyard for the past several months to finalize this project, however we have run into delays in dealing with supply chain issues,” said Superintendent, Brian Kerzner.

Significant effort has been devoted to searching and obtaining parts for the engine with the goal to have the boat operational for the July 4th weekend.  

The last several parts have been located and shipped, however will not be delivered and installed in time for the holiday weekend.  

“I have been monitoring this project closely and am disappointed that the Indian Harbor will not be operational in time for the season opening.  I am hopeful we will be operational for the following weekend. We will notify the public once the ferry is back in operation,” said Parks and Recreation Director, Joseph Siciliano.

Fortunately, the Department has been working on a long-term solution to the aging ferry engines. The Department has conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the power systems for the 3 ferries it operates and the re-powering of each vessel has been included in the Department’s 15-year Capital Improvement Plan.