RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina will try leasing a boat to take passengers between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands because the ferry that was supposed to do the job has been delayed -- again.
Spokesman Tim Hass of the state Ferry Division tells The News & Observer of Raleigh that the most recent delay is because inspectors found the aluminum welds in the hull were substandard. Work was halted and then resumed in March.
The $4 million boat originally was supposed to be completed in April 2018. It's designed to seat 98 people inside and another 26 outside.
Hass says the state has found a similar catamaran-style ferry in New Jersey that's available for the summer. The state needs to bring the boat to North Carolina and run the route to make sure it's suitable.
UPDATE -- A passenger only ferry service began Monday, May 20. Last week test runs on the Pamlico Sound were successfully completed by the M/V Martha’s Vineyard Express, prompting DOT to start passenger service. Travel May 20 and May 21 will be free than an initial charge of $1 beginning May 22. There will be three daily round-trips, with a one-way voyage taking about 70 minutes.