In January of 2012, the Kennewick went into service on the Port Townsend-Keystone run. In a somewhat controversial move, the ferry did not go to south
Vashon Island as had been reported, the state and lawmakers make somewhat questionable claims about keeping consistency on the routes by having the
identical sisters Kennewick and Salish on the route so crews did not have to switch to the Chetzemoka with its different propulsion set up. The notion that
crews don't regularly change vessels that are completely different from one another is totally idiotic with as much as the fleet moves around throughout the
The Chetzemoka was moved because the Salish and Kennewick, with the variable pitch propellers, handle the conditions at Keystone better. It was pretty
much decided before the other two ferries went into service that the Chetzemoka would be shifted to south Vashon where her stationary propeller wouldn't be
as much of an issue.
Length: 273' 8" Engines: 2 Beam: 64' Horsepower: 6,000 Draft: 11' Speed in Knots: 16 Max Passengers: 750 Propulsion: DIESEL
Max Vehicles: 64 Gross Tonnage: 4623 Tall Deck Space: 9 City Built: Seattle Auto Deck Clearance: 16' 0" Year Built / Re-built: 2012
Kennewick means "Grassy Place" and is one of the "Tri Cities" on the Columbia River in Eastern Washington.
The Kennewick leaving Keystone Harbor in November of 2012. Photo courtesy of Brandon Swan.