Hyak to Be Retired

Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:50 am by

It's Golden Hour for the M/V Hyak - SJ Update file photo

Well this was sup­posed to be the third in a 3‑part series of late run­ning fer­ries, but it just became the third in a FOUR part series…

Part 3: The Prob­lem Continues

This just in from WSF on June 20th:

Sum­mer to Begin With Few­er Ves­sels in WSF fleet

“The past leg­isla­tive ses­sion came with some vic­to­ries (fund­ing for new hybrid-elec­tric ves­sels) and some defeats, such as the forced retire­ment of one of our oper­at­ing fer­ries, the Hyak. The 51-year-old ves­sel’s final day in oper­a­tion is sched­uled for Sun­day, June 30 on the Seattle/Bremerton route. This means that as sum­mer begins, we will have few­er ves­sels to serve our busy routes. And because many of our ves­sels are quite old, repairs are often needed.

This is why we had to make the dif­fi­cult deci­sion to tem­porar­i­ly down­size our Port Townsend/Coupeville routefrom two boats to one begin­ning Sun­day, June 23. That day is the start of our sum­mer sail­ing sched­ule, when the num­ber of ves­sels need­ed to oper­ate our sys­tem goes up from 18 to 19. I under­stand the effect this deci­sion will have on our cus­tomers and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties. I want every­one to know we looked at many sce­nar­ios to avoid it.

Ken­newick will oper­ate solo on our Port Townsend/ Coupeville route on Sun­day, June 23, through at least Sun­day, June 30.

Fol­low­ing the sail­ing day on Sat­ur­day, June 22, Sal­ish will head from Port Townsend to the San Juan Islands to serve as the inter­is­land ves­sel through at least Sun­day, June 30. Cus­tomers dri­ving onto our inter­is­land sail­ings should plan for pos­si­ble delays as this fer­ry holds few­er vehi­cles than what is nor­mal­ly on the route. Port Townsend/Coupeville rid­ers are strong­ly encour­aged to make a reser­va­tion if they plan on sail­ing next week, or con­sid­er using our Edmonds/Kingston and Mukilteo/Clinton routes as an alternate.”

Hope­ful­ly, the final part of this series won’t be pre­empt­ed again. Tune in tomor­row for Part 4: The Solution

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One comment...

  1. Thank you Tim for doing this series. I am keen­ly inter­est­ed in the last part SOLUTIONS as I have come to believe that there real­ly are no ten­able solu­tions for island residents.

    We have only been fer­ry rid­ers by neces­si­ty for 13 years and gen­er­al­ly only go off once a month or so. But then there are the non-emer­gency per­son­al needs that when they hap­pen in sum­mer can be mighty aggra­vat­ing. And fares go upward while sched­ule reli­a­bil­i­ty goes south.

    I was as sup­port­er of reser­va­tions as the first come, first served pol­i­cy was an anachro­nism of qui­eter times and less rid­er­ship. It was extreme­ly inef­fi­cient and sil­ly in terms of time we spent sit­ting at a ter­mi­nal ear­ly in order to get on a boat.

    How­ev­er, the sys­tem of today is geared to patched up old boats and sched­ules try­ing to play catch up to peak sum­mer tourist rid­er­ship. Mul­ti­ple reser­va­tions for any one trip across with only a $10 no show fee is com­plete­ly absurd. Res­i­dents need more slots. If road con­nect­ed folks in this region had to deal with the uncer­tain­ties and wait­ing they would have blocked the free­ways with burn­ing tires by now to stop the insanity.

    Steve Ulvi

    Comment by Steve Ulvi on June 21, 2019 at 8:40 am

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