Fishers Island Ferry Shipyard Update: Race Point & Munnatawket

by Jane Ahrens
December 7, 2018 M/V Race Point is loaded back into the water at Goodison Shipyard in Rhode Island and made ready to head to her home port. Photo Credit: Jane Ahrens

By Jane T. Ahrens, Editor
Photo Credit: Jane T. Ahrens
December 30, 2018

The ferry Race Point went into the shipyard this fall for some routine maintenance and will be back in service shortly. The Fishers Island Ferry District’s commissioners and management take care to consider the seasonal needs of their customers and the island residents when scheduling this work. In this case, getting fuel to the island is a priority in the off-season for obvious reasons. With this in mind, Race Point went in first so it will be available to transport the larger trucks in the winter months.

The shipyard work and return to service tasks done by the crew at the New London terminal are in addition to the normal day to day operations of the ferry service.

Marine Operations Manager RJ Burns shared this work order information:

Race Point:

Some are completed with a combination of shipyard staff and ferry crew members.

1) All exterior sanded, primed and gloss white paint including new letters and draft marks
2) Bottom sanded, primed and painted
3) Rub-rails pressure tested (leaks repaired as necessary) and painted
4) Port aft quarter side shell, bottom plate, and related framing renewed
5) Ballast tank sandblasted, primed and epoxy painted
6) Propellers swapped with spares
7) Wasted metal in car deck pipe sockets renewed
8) One vent pipe on car deck wasted and renewed
9) Lube oil tank fill pipe wasted and renewed
10) 3 car deck hatches replaced
11) Existing sewage tank cut up and removed. New sewage tank constructed and pressure tested. Very extensive project. Access holes cut in bottom of vessel, structural bulkheads removed and replaced for access. New framing associated with new tank and new sewage tank associated valves.
12) Fuel tank remote access, emergency shut off on car deck renewed
13) New keel cooler zincs
14) Car deck sprinkler valves serviced
15) All sea valves inspected and serviced. Replaced one
16) Renewed approx. 130′ of ballast system piping
17) Renewed approx. 130′ of bilge system piping
18) Both life rafts removed, inspected and serviced

Race Point hauled out at Goodison Shipyard fall 2018. Photo Credit: RJ Burns

Here is what the ferry crew has accomplished at the shipyard and in New London:

1) Chipped, scrapped and chiseled rust from six voids (internal tanks) and various areas in the engine room
2) Coated areas that had been chipped
3) Recoated 5 life floats, including splicing all new lines and nets
4) Re-stencil safety warnings, etc.
5) Re-installed all exterior safety equipment
6) Oil changes both main engines and reduction gears (transmissions)
7) Replaced injectors both generators
8) Up-graded bilge system manifold
9) Tested all fire hoses
10) Thoroughly cleaned engine room and vestibule deck plates, bilges and bulkheads (five days).
11) Painted all handrails


Departs the first week of January. Tentatively scheduled for January 7 or 8, weather dependent.

This is a major and complex project and an upgrade to Munnatawket. Preparations, certifications, plans, and plan review have all been completed.

Re-power project scheduled to last two months but may take longer due to winter weather delays and Coast Guard oversite.

1) The existing power plant, reduction gears, and associated control systems to be replaced with TIER 3, environmentally compliant, more fuel-efficient engines and control systems.
2) This will include removal of all the above, fire pumps and piping, engine bed rails, control systems.
3) Next – Fabricating new bed rails (engine support frames) to fit new propulsion system.
3) The existing system is “chain and cable” (read manual) controls. This will be replaced with “drive by wire” control systems.

Mere Doyen, Fishers Island resident and the Island’s liaison to Southold, and I were invited to travel with the Fishers Island Ferry District’s captains and crew as they brought Race Point back home in early December. We arrived at Goodison Shipyard with FI Ferry Manager Geb Cook about 8:30 am. A tour of the ferry was followed by a shipyard walk-about before we “set sail” on our 5-hour ride southwest to Fishers Island Sound. Here are some of the sights we saw December 7, 2018.
Click any image to view larger photos or scroll through the galleries.

Tour of Race Point

Shipyard Walk About

Final Shipyard Checks

Aboard Race Point & Homeward Bound

Thank you to the Fishers Island Ferry District for the invitation to travel back on Race Point. In particular, General Manager Geb Cook, Marine Operations Manager RJ Burns, Marine Operations Supervisor and Captain Jon Haney, Engineer Mike Franco, and Captains Jon Hiller and Tony Mirabelli, along with my travel companion Mere Doyen. One of us saw a whale spout twice, the captains have good taste in music, oh yes, we had homemade chili with all the fixings for lunch, and we learned a lot!

We also enjoyed meeting Goodison Shipyard Vice President and General Manager Chris Braga and Race Point’s project manager Shipyard Manager RJ Perry. They will be expecting M/V Munnatawket very soon.

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

A Fishers Island Community Center Program and the accompanying Fog Horn eNewsletter serve as the communications resource for the Fishers Island community. The content – news, calendar, links and photos, milestones, ads, and more create a clear image of Fishers to those on and off the island.

© 2023 – All Right Reserved.