Official Number: D508604. Call Sign: WY2512 Length: 382' 2'' Beam: 73' 2'' Draft: 18' 6'' Auto Deck Clearance: 16' Horsepower: 8,000
Speed in Knots: 17 Max Passengers: 2000 Max Vehicles: 144 City Built: San Diego Year Built/Re-built: 1967/1999 Name Translation: Native American/Chinook: "arrow."
The Kaleetan,sporting her new gold 50 year stripes, in the San Juans on 25 August 2018. Photo courtesy of Brandon Swan. Photo of her interior below courtesy of Matt
|The Kaleetan emerged from the Lake Union Drydock Company in the
fall of 1999 having had a multimillion dollar mid-life upgrade. Steel was
replaced, asbestos removed, the interior gutted and replaced, and the
engines rebuilt. After the work was finished, she returned to her
familiar haunt, the San Juan Islands, where she had been since leaving
the Winslow route in the early 1970's, but the ferry began to split its
time between the summer season in the islands and the fall and winter
on the Bremerton run. It was soon discovered that when a Super Class
boat was put down at Bremerton, some of the traffic would bleed off the
over-taxed Seattle-Winslow route.
Passengers who were often crammed into an Issaquah Class ferry for
the 6:25 sailing out of Bremerton found themselves in a vessel that had
room for 1000 more souls. Everyone being able to sit comfortably
became a much-appreciated luxury. In addition, the narrow beam of
the Kaleetan allowed her to travel through Rich Passage at full speed
(the Super Class, save for the Elwha, throw off a very minimal wake)
which shaved more than a few minutes off the commute.
Whether by coincidence or design, the pairing of two Issaquahs on the
route came to an abrupt end. More and more frequently there is at
least one Super on the Bremerton route. Still, the Kaleetan comes
back to "home" waters almost every summer when tourist season
demands three Supers in the San Juans. Bremerton tends to get the
still larger Walla Walla for the summer months to replace the missing
Super Class ferry.
The ferry was pulled out of service for a few months in 2005 to have
an elevator installed, making her completely ADA compliant. She then
returned to the San Juans before being assigned to the Bremerton
route while the Yakima had an elevator put in at Lake Union Drydock
company on Lake Union.
Today the Kaleetan generally works the Seattle-Bremerton route, but
can also be found in the San Juans when one of the other Supers is
out for maintenance or emergency repairs, which the aging class of
vessels has been more prone to in recent years.
|First Day of Service...
The first day of service booklet for the Kaleetan was a stylized affair. The ferries were so
identical when they were first built that even the artwork was interchangable--though the booklet
shows the ferry with the Hyak's overly tall paint line.