© 2024 Maine Public
1450 Lisbon St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Maine Public Membership Department
63 Texas Ave.
Bangor, ME 04401

Portland Office
323 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101

Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Matinicus Island's new $11 million ferry prepares for Maine delivery

Maine State Ferry Service's Charles Norman Shay ferry at the Alabama shipyard which built the ship.
Maine Department of Transportation
/
Maine Department of Transportation
Maine State Ferry Service's Charles Norman Shay ferry at the Alabama shipyard which built the ship.

The Maine State Ferry Service's brand new 149-passenger ferry from its shipyard in Alabama for delivery in Rockland.

At a running speed of 13 knots, Charles Norman Shay can carry 149 passengers and up to eight cars. Maine DoT commissioned the $11 million vessel back in 2022. The ship will operate the Ferry Service's longest route between Rockland to Matinicus Island. It's scheduled to begin operating in June or July.

"We’re excited about having a new vessel in the fleet," said Paul Merrill, the Communications Director with the Maine Department of Transportation. "The Matinicus run is a special one. It’s a remote island, and it certainly needs and deserves to have a safe and reliable vessel to get folks connected to the mainland."

Shay will replace Everett Libby, which has been in service since 1960 and currently operates on the Matinicus route. The run is the Ferry Service's longest route at 23 miles long — almost double the length of the second longest route. Everett Libby takes about two hours and fifteen minutes to complete the run.

"When it gets here, [the Shay] will still have to undergo some testing some Coast Guard assessments before it can officially go into service," Merrill said. "When it does go into service, we’re hoping to plan some sort of celebration to celebrate all the hard work and investments that have gone into this vessel."

The ferry is named after Charles Norman Shay — a U.S. Army veteran who served as a combat medic during World War II and the Korean War. At 99 years old, Shay is still alive and a member of the Penobscot Nation.

Charles Norman Shay ferry at Steiner Shipyard in Alabama which built the ship.
Steiner Shipyard
/
Maine Department of Transportation
Charles Norman Shay ferry at Steiner Shipyard in Alabama which built the ship.

Nick Song is Maine Public's inaugural Emerging Voices Fellowship Reporter.


Originally from Southern California, Nick got his start in radio when he served as the programming director for his high school's radio station. He graduated with a degree in Journalism and History from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University -- where he was Co-News Director for WNUR 89.3 FM, the campus station.