Official Number: 630023 Call Sign: WYR3421 Length: 328' Beam: 78' 8'' Draft: 16' 6'' Auto Deck Clearance: 16'
Horsepower: 5,000 Speed in Knots: 16 Max Passengers: 1200 Vehicles: 124
City Built: Seattle Year Built/Re-built: 1980 / 1992
Name Translation: Kitsap was a war chief and medicine man under Chief Seattle (see Sealth). The name means "brave." A county is also named after him.
The Kitsap is spending more time roaming these days, including up in the San Juan Islands. Here she is seen making a landing at Orcas Island in 2016.
Photo courtesy Brandon Swan.
The Kitsap probably boasts the most notorious event in the
Issaquah Class history that actually wasn't mechanical in nature: a
full fledged riot on board that resulted in some $40,000.00 in
damages after some punk rockers got out of hand returning from a
concert in Bremerton.
Aside from the riot, the other most notable event for the Kitsap was
in 1991. Sailing through Rich Passage in heavy fog, she managed
to bang into her sister ferry Sealth. Five years later she went
aground in nearly the same spot.
Even with these colorful incidents, the Kitsap has lead a relatively
sedate life, delivering thousands of passengers to their destinations
safely and without mishap.
In early '00 the ferry went to the Lake Union Drydock company to
have the main reduction gears replaced and to have the interior
redone. She came back to the Bremerton run in July of '00, looking
like a new vessel.
The Kitsap is generally a relief vessel, sitting in for whatever
Issaquah Class ferry is out for maintenance. When not filling in for
another Issaquah, the ferry can usually be found working the
Honoring the past...
The ferry system has done a very good job at selecting historic photos for the ferries. The Kitsap
displays some very interesting shots of Bremerton, including one of the Chippewa, a ferry that
called the Bremerton route home for decades. Photo by the author.
The Kitsap actually retained some of her "rainbow" color--blue. Although in the original interior it was
a lighter blue than seen here in the galley. Photo by Matt Masuoka.