Source reader Bob recently asked when ferry service between St. Croix and St. Thomas will begin.
Bob said he has seen the newly built and launched QE IV at Salt River Marina but hasn’t yet seen a schedule or start date.
Unfortunately, we can’t answer Bob’s question. Neither can the boat builder. Nor the ship’s owner – yet.
The 100-foot, unusual looking vessel was launched in May and since then has been undergoing sea trials and testing by the U.S. Coast Guard, according to owner Warren Mosler.
On Wednesday, Mosler said a new checklist was presented by the Coast Guard that hopefully will be completed in “a few more weeks.”
“The boat itself will be ready in a week or so. However, there is a long list of recently received requirements from the Coast Guard which could take a month or so to complete. And it they come up with additional requirements, we will have to then comply with those as well,” Mosler said in an email to the Source.
At Salt River Marina, Rich Difede, president of Gold Coast Yachts – the ferry builder, said construction details should be wrapped up and the vessel turned over to Mosler “in three weeks or less.” He speculated it could take another week or two for Coast Guard paperwork to be finalized before starting service. But once the boat is turned over to the owner, he said he has no way of knowing when the ferry will start running.
Mosler, an economist and former candidate for delegate to Congress, plans to run the ferry from Gallows Bay to Charlotte Amalie twice a day and charge $50 each way. The vessel will carry up to 90 passengers and should complete the crossing in less than two hours.