The M/V Rodanthe, the N.C. Ferry Division’s newest vehicle ferry between Ocracoke and Hatteras, is idled at the Hatteras Ferry dock while its engine is being checked. Photo by Jed Dixon.

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By Connie Leinbach

After only a few days running, the North Carolina Ferry Division’s newest car ferry, the M/V Rodanthe is offline.

Jed Dixon, Ferry Division deputy director, confirmed on Saturday that the Rodanthe is resting dockside while a Caterpiller representative checks out the engine.

The first day, Tuesday (July 30), it made a few runs, Dixon said.

“This came up the second day,” he said.

Some readings with the Caterpiller C-18 diesel engine came up that concerned them.

“In an overabundance of caution, we took it offline,” he said. “They’re working on it now.”

He said the Ferry Division has enough other boats to make scheduled runs.

There’s a chance the engine might have to be replaced and taken to the Ferry Division shipyard in Mann’s Harbor or another shipyard for that, he said, “but everything’s under warranty.”

Built by the Bollinger Shipyard in Amelia, Louisiana, the $9.7 million Rodanthe holds up to 40 vehicles and arrived at the NCDOT Shipyard in Mann’s Harbor in June.

The first new ferry for the Hatteras-Ocracoke route in 13 years, it replaces the 22-year-old M/V Thomas A. Baum, and is part of an ongoing effort by the N.C. Ferry Division to phase out the smaller Hatteras-class ferries with larger river-class vessels to accommodate more vehicles.

The Rodanthe has a number of enhanced features–interior bathrooms and a first-level passenger lounge. The hull has also been designed to reduce over splash that can occur on the Hatteras Inlet route – especially on windy and stormy days.

Two others of the same size, the M/V Avon and the M/V Salvo, are being built for a combined total of $22.9 million and expected to be completed in 2020. 

The Rodanthe was officially christened on June 28 in a ceremony at the Hatteras dock.

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