BUILT/REBUILT: 1925/1947 (conversion to double-ender), Marine Construction Company, Seattle, WA.
OFFICIAL NUMBER: 224839 CALL SIGN: WH7219
L/B/D: 151 x 55 x 11 GROSS/NET TONS: 466/316 PASSENGERS/AUTOS: 300/30 cars
PROPULSION: Diesel SPEED: 10 knots
NAME TRANSLATION: Taken from Captain Crosby’s name, the “C” in the A-B-C scheme.
FINAL DISPOSITION: Broken up about 1977.
The Crosline in the 1930's. Courtesy of Captain Raymond W Hughes collection.
The Crosline was launched on 22 June 1925 for the Crosby Direct Line Ferries
from the Marine Construction Company on the Duwamish River in Seattle. She
was built to make the run between Manchester on the Kitsap Peninsula and Alki
Point in West Seattle. Carrying 65 cars, (1925-sized) the little single-ended ferry
could make the run in 25 minutes with her Seattle-built Sumner diesel providing
In 1926, scarcely a year after going into service and as somewhat of a surprise to
the people of the Crosby Direct Line Ferries, the company merged with Puget
Sound Navigation. Owner Captain Harry W. Crosby remained in charge,
however, and the merger didn't affect the Crosline, which remained on the
Manchester-Alki route until 1935, when the Alki dock was destroyed by a storm.
She stayed on the Manchester route, now running to Colman Dock, until 1940,
with the exception of two summer seasons in the San Juan Islands in 1939 an
and 1940 when she assisted the Rosario.
With enough ferries to spare, PSN sold the Crosline in 1942 to Canadian
interests. They sailed the ferry on the North Vancouver run during WWII,
converting her into a passenger only vessel for the shipyard workers. After the
war, the Crosline was no longer needed.
Purchased by the Washington State Department of Highways, and refitted with
Cooper-Bessener diesels, the Crosline emerged from the shipyard as a
The Department of Highways assigned the Crosline to the Narrows route, but
moved in February 1949 to the Fauntleroy-Vashon route to take over for the old
and rapidly decaying ferry Lincoln.
As a Department of Highways vessel, the Crosline became part of the state fleet
when Wahsington State Ferries was formed in 1951. WSF moved the ferry to
Hood Canal in June of 1952, working only weekends, which she did until 1961
when the bridge was built. By this time, she could only haul between 25-30 cars,
making her usefulness limited. She worked only the summers of 1962, '63 and
'64 on the Mukilteo-Clinton route as the extra boat for traffic overflow. For 1965,
'66 and 1967 the little Crosline worked Sundays only on the Vashon-Fauntleroy
run. Her last trip was the 9:55 p.m. departure on Labor Day of 1967.
The ferry system sold her on December 19th of the same year. She was first
used as a warehouse on Lake Union. Sold again in 1975, she was moved to
Coos Bay, Oregon to be used as a restaurant. The venture fell through, and
instead her superstructure was removed to become a shore-based warehouse.
Her hull was eventually disassembled, the remaining timbers and planks of the
Crosline became part of a fishing boat and a dock.
An email sent to the author in 2007 indicated that the dock and warehouse that
had been built out of the Crosline had since been torn down. It is unknown if the
fishing boat made from her timbers or is still afloat.
|At top,the interior of the Crosline was strictly no frills, but not uncomfortable. Courtesy of
Tom Sanislo. Above, moored in Coo's Bay just after her trip down the coast on June 13,
1975. Author's collection.
|Elusive, forgotten, unphotographed...
Though the Crosline had a long career on Puget Sound, photographs of her
taken after 1951 when she became part of the Washington State Ferry fleet are
practically non-existent. When inquiring with MOHAI as to whether anything in
the Williamson Collection showed the ferry in WSF livery, the answer was "no."
The print above is one of the few I've ever seen of her in WSF livery. Another
can be found in The Ferry Story by Michael Skalley, and Exploring the Olympic
Peninsula, the 1967 edition by Ruth Kirk, which is where the photo at left comes
It's possible that the little Crosline wasn't photographed due to its limited use by
Washington State Ferries. Until the bridge opened, the ferry was a "weekend
only" boat on Hood Canal" and through the 60's she only ever worked
If anyone has a good photo of the Crosline, in WSF livery, please feel free to
Email me and I'll be happy to replace the header on this page.