Return to service date for Boblo Island ferry unclear

Boblo Island Ferry (Courtesy of Boblo Island Facebook)

The return to service date for the Boblo Island ferry remains unclear.

The privately owned ferry, which went out of service on Friday, Oct. 27, was slated to return by mid last week, however a new set of issues now plague the 91-year-old vessel. 

Amico Properties, owner of both Amherstburg Ferry Company and Boblo Island, said in an email to residents Friday night that "upgrades and repairs have been ongoing and meetings with Transport Canada have been happening at the same time to expedite the return to service."

The statement went on to say a new transmission was installed and during re-assembly around 4:30 p.m. Friday, the rudder post on the island side was found to be misaligned and not turning true to centre.  

Amico says as a result they sourced a machine shop to fabricate a new assembly, shaft and bearing with an expected delivery of mid to late Monday morning.  

Amherstburg Mayor Michael Prue, who lives on the island, says this issue has been the talk of the town.

"It's the number one topic in Amherstburg. I would be surprised if people don't have questions."

He says questions which quite possibly might be raised Monday night when council meets for an 'in camera' closed door meeting.

"I can't speak for all of council. I don't know what they're thinking but I'm sure some of them will have some questions when we have the lawyer there. We have him there for other things but I'm sure this will be part of the discussion."

Prue says in his experience, this is the longest period of time that the ferry has been out of service.

"The ferry does go out from time to time for a few hours or even a day, but this is the longest I have experienced."

Last Christmas the ferry went out of service over a four day period, which Prue says was in part due to water levels. 

Until the ferry returns, Amico has since provided islanders with a temporary pontoon boat that runs as follows from the mainland dock:

-12:00 a.m. to 5 a.m. - hourly run on the hour
-5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. - every half hour on the hour