Official Number: 223051 Radio Call Letters: none Built: Dockton, WA 1923/1931 Length: 155' 8" Beam: 40' 8" Draft: 8' 9"
Auto Deck Clearance: 11' 5" Speed: 10 knots Horsepower: 560 Propulsion: Diesel Electric (DC)
Autos: 32 Passengers: 312 Gross Tonnage: 290 Name Translation: taken from the Spanish "rosary" A strait in the San Juan Islands also has the name, which is where the ferry got
FINAL DISPOSITION: Superstructure bulldozed, hull buried.
|Above, the interior of the Rosario was warm and inviting. Curtis photo, colorized by the author.
Below, a rare photo of the Rosario as she looked beached in Everett and working as cannery.
|The photo never to be...
The Rosario was actually never had been painted in WSF livery. Here
is how she would have looked had she remained in service. Courtesy of
Tom Sanislo, color by Nevermore Images.
The Rosario: Shortest Career in the Fleet
Washington State Ferries policy of selling off ferries that were too
costly to maintain when it would be cheaper to build a new boat began
almost at once. Sailing the shortest time of any ferry for Washington
State Ferries was the wood ferry Rosario.
Puget Sound Navigation had built the Rosario in 1923 for the route from
Everett to Whidbey Island. Built at the shipyard at Dockton, Vashon
Island, the ferry emerged as single-ended vessel with the name
Whidby. For eight years she worked on that run, when PSN took
another look at the boat and sent her into the yard for a rebuilt.
The ferry was extended an additional 41 feet. The passenger cabin
was extended, and her inefficient steam plant was removed and
replaced with a 600 horsepower Sumner diesel. She emerged a
virtually new vessel--and with a new name: Rosario taken from Rosario
Strait in the San Juans, which is where the rebuilt ferry was sent to
work. From 1931 until 1941 the Rosario sailed from Anacortes through
San Juans and up to Sidney, British Columbia. She held the route until
traffic began to out-pace her, and PSN sent up the Vashon. She was
then moved to the Port Townsend-Keystone route until Black Ball
abandoned the route in 1943, and then to the Seattle-Manchester
route, not settling into a routine until the mid-1940's when she started
on the Point White-Bremerton route.
In 1945 she was repowered again, this time with the diesel engines from
the old Kitsap County Transportation ferry Ballard. When Washington
State Ferries took over the Puget Sound Navigation Company in 1951,
they discontinued the Point White-Bremerton run.
Now under state owner ship, the Rosario was moved to the
Suquamish-Indianola-Seattle run while the Agate Pass Bridge, linking
Bainbridge Island to the mainland Kitsap Peninsula, was being
Retired immediately after the bridge was built, the Rosario was
mothballed . She was sold in June of 1953, having only actually sailed
for Washington State Ferries for about 5 months. Converted into a
cannery, she was moved up to Everett, where she worked for a number
of years. Eventually the Rosario became silted in, but was still in use
as of the late 1970's. In the mid 1980's she was bulldozed down and
the hull filled in. Today the site of the Rosario is covered over with a