January 9, 2008
Another WSF veteran ferry faces major repairs
Another of Washington State Ferries' veteran vessels faces an extensive period in dry dock.
Beginning on January 16, the Evergreen State (originally built in 1954 and rebuilt in 1988) will be replaced by the Hiyu on the San Juan Islands inter-island route.
"The Evergreen State needs both main engines overhauled and other long overdue maintenance, including steel replacement along the hull," said Paul Brodeur, WSF Director of Vessel Maintenance and Preservation. "It is one of the oldest vessels in the fleet and we must complete this work to ensure its ongoing safety and reliability."
Depending on drydock availability, the Evergreen State could be out of service until the beginning of spring schedule on March 30. During this time, the Hiyu will operate on the same schedule on the San Juan Islands inter-island route.
Even though the winter months see less inter-island traffic than in summer months, WSF expects some sold out sailings due to the reduced capacity of the Hiyu. The smallest and most unique car ferry in the WSF fleet, the Hiyu carries 34 vehicles and 200 passengers. The Evergreen State's capacity is 87 cars and 983 passengers.
Up until June of last year, the Hiyu had been laid up for a decade in what Washington State DOT termed "deep reserve." On June 12, it was reactivated to replace the M/V Rhododendron on the Point Defiance/Tahlequah route. when that vessel had to be drydocked to deal with rudder problems.