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WSF will start Summer Service on Sunday June 14th, 2015 which will mark the first time Samish will be in service on San Juan Island:

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/summer-ferry-schedule-brings-changes_13121775

Anacortes to Sidney now has two scheduled trips with one direct sailing each way without stoping at Friday Harbour. The second sailing ends on the start of Fall schedule which starts on September 19th.

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A few more interesting tidbits for the Summer schedule...

  • The Tacoma just went into dry dock this week where it's expected to stay for 15 weeks (the entire summer season!) while it gets a badly needed repainting and probably some maintenance. Normally this work would have been scheduled for another time of year... but the Tacoma's recent problems upset that timetable.
  • Because the Tacoma is out of service the Edmonds-Kingston run will need to continue to make due with the 2 Jumbo class ferries for another few months.
  • Thanks to the Samish going into service, when the Tillikum comes out of dry dock (sometime between June 15-22) it will head to Eagle Harbor where it become a second standby vessel, along with its sister ship the Evergreen State.
  • The Hiyu has been chartered for the next 4 weeks. It will serve as a standby vessel for Pierce County Ferries while the Steilacoom II is in dry dock.
  • After the charter is over the Hiyu will be decommissioned and likely sold.

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A few more interesting tidbits for the Summer schedule...

  • The Tacoma just went into dry dock this week where it's expected to stay for 15 weeks (the entire summer season!) while it gets a badly needed repainting and probably some maintenance. Normally this work would have been scheduled for another time of year... but the Tacoma's recent problems upset that timetable.

Last time they painted a ferry in late fall or winter the paint only last a couple months on the ferry and she looked worst than before the painting. Also it has to do with only with a company being able to take all three Jumbo Mark II class out of water which is Vigor.

I think they should a least wait until next Spring because she does not look offer she just needs a few touch for the summer season.

This according to my photo which she still has the rust in the same places as before:

16797995459_048c5baae4_o.jpg

Tacoma by Blue Bus Fan, on Flickr

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I think the reasons for putting the Tacoma in dry dock are more than cosmetic... I think there's more work that just can hold off any longer. That being said, I saw the Tacoma up close a couple of weeks ago when on another ferry parked at Colman Dock... and she looks terrible.

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This plan from the state:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/41834A0B-DABC-48FA-9700-DF0298AA65B4/58485/AppendixNProposedVesselAssignments.pdf

It says the Chimacum is replacing the Kitsap during the winter, fall and spring.

Quoted plan is very old and very out of date. No one is talking about keeping Klahowya until 2028.

That being said, I'm pretty sure the Chimacum will be assigned to Bremerton to start with. Note that the Kitsap is not technically assigned there, she's a fill-in vessel though she does spend a lot of time on that route.

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Quoted plan is very old and very out of date. No one is talking about keeping Klahowya until 2028.

That being said, I'm pretty sure the Chimacum will be assigned to Bremerton to start with. Note that the Kitsap is not technically assigned there, she's a fill-in vessel though she does spend a lot of time on that route.

But the state has been following the plan for most routes excluding the Elwha on the Sidney route most likely due to operation costs. Also the Chelan not operating on the Sidney route in spring and fall due to reasons unknown to me. The a 124 car on maintenance reverse. The Evergreen State will not be retired until 2017 or later. Also the Salish not operating on Inter-Island route in the winter due complex loading and unloading at all the four Island.

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Late Monday night lawmakers in the passed a transportation bill totaling $16 billion.

Included in the bill is $122 million to build a fourth 144-car Olympic-class ferry and $68.6 million to improve the Mukilteo Terminal.

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M/V Sealth, M/V Kitsap and M/V Yakima at Vashon ferry terminal, 05/20/2012:

8761378487_91b6a83cf5_b.jpg

M/V Sealth, M/V Kitsap and M/V Yakima at Vashon ferry terminal (05/20/2012) by LB Bryce, on Flickr

This was one of the very rare occasions that a Super Class vessel was on the Vashon route (IIRC, the previous time was when the M/V Kaleetan was on the route in October 1995). Also, I believe this was the only time where none of the regularly assigned vessels (which at the time was the M/V Klahowya, M/V Tillikum and M/V Issaquah) were on the route since that lineup was established sometime in the late 1990s. The M/V Klahowya was out with drive motor problems, the M/V Tillikum was out for a mandatory yearly inspection and the M/V Issaquah was either at Eagle Harbor or at a shipyard.

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More problems for the Washington State Ferries. There are problems with the drive motor on the Elwha putting it out of service on the San Juan Islands route.

After trying to fix the motor for several hours in Anacortes, WSF decided to send the Elwha down to Eagle Harbor.

To make up for the loss, extra stops were added today to most of the runs and the interisland made a few runs over to Anacortes.

Now tonight a ferry swap is in motion. The standby ferry Tillikum (87 vehicle) will replace the Sealth (90 vehicle) on the triangle route, the Sealth will replace the Kitsap (124 vehicle) on the Seattle-Bremerton run and the Kitsap will replace the Elwha (144 vehicle) up in the islands.

It means capacity reductions on three routes, but I'm sure the ferries system is enjoying the flexibility of having the old Evergreen State class ferries around on standby.

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The Elwha is out of service for 4 months. From the WSF service bulletin page:

Ana/SJ's - Elwha Out of Service Through Summer Season
The 48-year-old Elwha will remain out of service for approximately four months while crews perform emergency repairs to a drive motor. We realize having one of our mid-sized vessels out for an extended period of time puts a strain on travelers, especially during the height of our busiest season. Until further notice, the 124-car Kitsap will continue to serve the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route in place of the Elwha.

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To make matters even worse, Washington State Ferries says that the Puyallup will be out of service Monday-Wednesday as crews inspect an engine that broke down back on Saturday, June 20.

That means 4 of WSF's large ferries will be out of service (Elwha, Kaleetan, Puyallup and Tacoma).

That means all three standby ferries will be pressed into service and there will likely be longer waits on three routes.

Bainbridge-Seattle:
Wenatchee (202-car)
Walla Walla (188-car)

Edmonds-Kingston (special 3-boat schedule):
Spokane (188-car)
Tillikum (87-car)
Evergreen State (87-car)

Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth (two-boat schedule, with unscheduled supplementary service):
Cathlamet (124-car)
Issaquah (124-car)
Hiyu (34-car)

All these changes are in addition to the changes listed from my last post, which will be the normal vessel assignments through the rest of the summer season.

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All these changes are in addition to the changes listed from my last post, which will be the normal vessel assignments through the rest of the summer season.

Do we actually know that? The shuffle with the Kitsap to the San Juans smells strongly of a short term, get something up there and in service move.

WSF was already facing a problem with the Puyallup going in for evaluation for a couple of days. Based on their communication thus far, they're only looking at how to get through that period of extreme pain.

Once we're past that, there are other permutations of the fleet that WSF can execute that would return capacity (everywhere but Edmonds-Kingston) to what was standard summer capacity pre-Tokitae. The temporary reshuffle leaves quite a bit of + and - capacity all over the system.

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Do we actually know that? The shuffle with the Kitsap to the San Juans smells strongly of a short term, get something up there and in service move.

WSF was already facing a problem with the Puyallup going in for evaluation for a couple of days. Based on their communication thus far, they're only looking at how to get through that period of extreme pain.

Once we're past that, there are other permutations of the fleet that WSF can execute that would return capacity (everywhere but Edmonds-Kingston) to what was standard summer capacity pre-Tokitae. The temporary reshuffle leaves quite a bit of + and - capacity all over the system.

You're right. I'm not sure if that will truly be the normal vessel assignments through the rest of the summer season.

My mistake.

I've gone back and corrected my earlier post.

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You're right. I'm not sure if that will truly be the normal vessel assignments through the rest of the summer season.

My mistake.

I've gone back and corrected my earlier post.

I did see the Times updated Mike Lindbloom's story earlier this morning. WSF is now saying that the Kitsap with be in the islands for the duration. Not good...

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That's what I thought the WSF media person said, but I wasn't 100% sure, hence my hesitation.

It's also a huge blow to auto capacity to have the 90-car Sealth on the Bremerton run.

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It's also a huge blow to auto capacity to have the 90-car Sealth on the Bremerton run.

This is exacerbated by the limited capacity at Edmonds-Kingston (at best Walla Walla + Spokane, which is less than normal). Long lines at Edmonds-Kingston force travelers to Seattle-Bainbridge, and lines there force travelers to Bremerton, where capacity is abysmal.

WSF could shuffle things around and get back to what was considered "normal" from 1999-2013, but they'd have to grow a pair and pull the Tokitae from Mukilteo-Clinton. To do so would put us back to what was "normal" for fifteen years in the summer. What we have now is suboptimal, everywhere.

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What I think that WSDOT should do right now for the ferries

1) Move the M/V Tokitae to San Jaun Island to restore car capacity which in return shifts the M/V Kitsap to Mikilteo to Clinton until the M/V Elwha is returned to service

2) Put three boats on the Edmonds to Kingston while the M/V Walla Walla is servicing the Bainbridge Island route for period maintenance on the M/V Puyullup

3) The M/V Issaquah will operate on the Fauntletory to Vashon route. The M/V Cathlamet operates on the Fauntleroy to Southworth route. The M/V Hiyu will operate on shuttle mode in peak periods and schedule during off peaks from Vashon to Southworth. This is until the M/V Tillikum or M/V Evergreen State comes to Fauntletory / Vashon / Southworth routes to restore three boat schedule on the route.

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