The new Steel Electrics...
Are we facing a scenario where the Coast Guard might yank the Super Class out of service like they did
with the Steel Electrics multiple times in the 70's and 80's? Could very well be. The system is teetering on
the edge, and without new vessels, it won't take much to push it over the edge.
Photo of the Hyak by the author.
As ferry system is ‘hanging by a thread,’ lawmakers
debate transportation budgets to fund new boats
|Ellis # 748
"Washington State Motor Ferry
Yeah, no. This isn't the Quinault. It clearly says
Illahee on the bow. This is one of Ellis' least
successful attempts to pass off one ferry for
another--and one wonders why he let it go when it
is so easy to read the name.
For the record, Ellis #745 the ferry is correctly
identified as the Illahee. #746 is the same photo
labeled as Nisqually, and #748 her is labeled as
It would stand to reason that that #747 should be
the same photo labeled Klickitat, but so far one
hasn't surfaced to substantiate this idea.
The photo is a rare one in that it shows the
Illahee flying the original Washington State
Ferries house flag--the evergreen tree with a white
"W" in the center of it. The house flag only seems
to have lasted the first few years of state
ownership, although its use as a logo continued
into the 1960's on promotional material.
It looks like the mighty Tillikum will live past her 60th birthday, and the Hyak won't even reach hers.
Simply put, the Tilikum is in better shape than the Hyak. The entire Super Class is suffering from serious corrosion of steel, and replacing it is a mind-boggling expensive prospect for
vessels that aren't expect to serve out another decade. The 25 million recently put into the Elwha ate up about 60% of the entire maintenance budget for the entire fleet. The Supers are not
worth investing that kind of money into them any more. Given their condition, the entire fleet is balancing on a knife-edge from cascading effect of service delays, cancellations and reduced
service due to lack of available vessels.
Photo courtesy of Brandon Moser.
|Bad day on the Queen of Surrey...
An interesting day for passengers on what was an otherwise normal crossing.
Queen of Surrey will be out of service ‘indefinitely’ after dock crash:
Courtesy of Justin McElroy/CBC
ALAKSA MARINE HIGHWAY SHUTTING DOWN?
The new governor had proposed getting rid of the system entirely--despite his many campaign promises to
Under Dunleavy budget, state ferries would end service Oct. 1
The Le Conte in 1974. Author's collection.
|Galley, M/V Sealth, 2017
Perhaps the most dramatic change to any class of vessels, the
refurbishment to the interiors of the Issaquah Class was
probably the most dramatic--and most overdue.
Starting with the Issaquah, the ferries were stripped of their
horribly dated, worn-out fittings and bare-bones Marine Power
and Equipment passenger cabins. For over two decades the
ferries looked as if they had been furnished and decorated by
K-Mart. This actually wasn't far from the truth, as MP& E had
fitted out the galley of the vessels, rumor had it, with cast of
fittings from a fast food burger joint that hadn't been done in the
correct colors for the chain. (I've heard it was Burger King, but
can't say for certain.)
Some of the vessels are now coming up on it having been 20
years since their refurbishment (thinking of the Kitsap in
particular) but even at this age they've held up much better
than their original bargin-basement treatment.
Photo courtesy of Matt Masuoka
** Standard disclaimer --may not be completely current due to
maintenance needs, etc.
Spring schedule runs from 31 March - 22 June 2019
ANACORTES - SAN JUAN ISLANDS
SEALTH - ELWHA- YAKIMA
ANACORTES - SIDNEY
PORT TOWNSEND - KEYSTONE
MUKILTEO - CLINTON
EDMONDS - KINGSTON
SEATTLE - WINSLOW
(AKA Bainbridge Island)
SEATTLE - BREMERTON
SOUTHWORTH -VASHON -
POINT DEFIANCE -
IN THE YARD
Nothing at this time, though the Klahowya will likely be
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