The Melissa Ann, half of the city's TheBoat service, sits ready to sail from Kalaeloa. The Rachel Marie is not yet in service.
Sputtering city ferry stays at pier
The Rachel Marie has engine trouble, which delays its first voyage
The inaugural run of the city's second commuter ferry is expected to be delayed until at least tomorrow as mechanics try to fix engine problems that halted operations yesterday.
City spokesman Bill Brennan said a part would be flown in from North Carolina to repair the electronic controls of the port engine of the ferry Rachel Marie. That means today's 6 a.m. trip from Kalaeloa to Honolulu Harbor is canceled, and the 5:20 p.m. commute probably will be, too, he said.
Express buses will take riders to their destinations instead.
The city canceled yesterday's 6 a.m. and 5:20 p.m. rides on the Rachel Marie, a 72-foot catamaran that received Coast Guard certification last week, after hearing sputtering sounds from the engine before the morning departure from Kalaeloa Pier. About 35 passengers were directed to express buses to take them to Aloha Tower.
"They did exactly the right thing," said Coast Guard spokesman Lt. John Titchen regarding the decision to cancel the ride. "They saw that something was not functioning well as it should have been."
Meanwhile, the city's other commuter ferry, the Melissa Ann, will run as planned at 5:30 and 8 a.m. from Kalaeloa to Aloha Tower and at 4:20 and 6:50 p.m. in the opposite direction.
The city will not lose any revenue from ticket sales because fares are free this week in a promotional offer intended to encourage ridership.
The Rachel Marie arrived in Honolulu about a week after the Melissa Ann. The Rachel Marie did not sail in the first week of the city's yearlong pilot program because city transportation officials said more extensive testing needed to be done.
Titchen said the Coast Guard has strict requirements for new passenger vessels, including emergency drills -- man overboard and lost-communication scenarios -- and close vessel examinations.