The motor vessel Ocracoke Express will not launch as-scheduled this summer. The $4.15 million, 98-seat catamaran ferry is intended to reduce vehicle congestion in Ocracoke Village by transporting people and their bicycles between the Hatteras Inlet ferry terminal and the Silver Lake Terminal, bridging slightly less than two miles between the state’s barrier islands. The delays are construction-related and stem from a shortage of skilled and certified labor; particularly, in the field of marine welding. Three major sections of the boat, the hull, passenger cabin, and wheelhouse, remain under construction at the U.S. Workboats shipyard in Hubert, NC. The boat should be completed in the fall; then, it will undergo tests for seaworthiness. While it will miss the heavy tourist season, it should be running before the end of the year. The four trams, which will provide free shuttle service between the ferry and Ocracoke Village, are expected to begin running by August. Upgrades for handling the additional pedestrian traffic at the ferry terminals are almost complete.