(Photo of MV Rachel Marie provided by KCFD – 2nd photo added 8:12 pm)
Kris Faucett from the King County Ferry District says its Board of Supervisors — King County Council members – approved a lease today for downtown-West Seattle service by the M.V. Rachel Marie, sister ship to the M.V. Melissa Ann, which is now on the King County Water Taxi’s other run between downtown and Vashon. (added 11:42 pm, from this document) Monthly cost: $32,000. (end of add) Also today, Faucett says the new fare schedule won approval today too, plus there’s word that West Seattle’s one-year Councilmember Jan Drago has been elected to chair the Ferry District Board. Read on for the Rachel Marie’s stats:
From a Ferry District doc provided by Faucett:
The M.V. Rachel Marie is the sister ship to the Melissa Ann (now in service on the Vashon Island/Downtown Seattle route). Both vessels are 77-foot catamarans with capacity for 150 passengers with a crew of three.
The vessels were built for the U.S. Army in 1988 at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders on Whidbey Island to ferry workers to and from the ballistic missile tracking station on the Kwajalein atoll (in the Pacific).
After their service with the Army, both of the vessels served as the Bremerton-Seattle foot ferry and then worked together in Hawaii as a commuter ferry. The Rachel Marie most recently worked in Juneau, Alaska, where she ferried workers to a remote silver mine.
Like the Melissa Ann, the Rachel Marie’s interior features a combination of theater-style seating, bench seats with tables, and facing seats. The Rachel Marie has an air conditioning/heating system, two restrooms and can carry 18 bicycles.
The Rachel Marie has two 900HP propulsion engines; she is equipped with two radar systems, a GPS plotter, a depth sounder, and an automated information system transponder.
Specifications for the Rachel Marie:
• Length – 77 ft.
• Beam – 29 ft.
• Draft (deepest) – 5 ft.
• Weight – 51 tons