Rachel Marie returns to West Seattle Water Taxi run on Monday

As reported here on Wednesday, repairs are complete on the King County Water Taxis West Seattle vessel, Rachel Marie (WSB file photo at left), and the U.S. Coast Guard has completed most of its investigation into last September’s crash. With sea trials complete, the county has just announced this afternoon that the Rachel Marie will return to West Seattle-Downtown Seattle service on Monday – which also means a return to Pier 50. The full text of the county’s news release, ahead:

The West Seattle Water Taxi Rachel Marie will resume service from Pier 50 at 6:30 a.m. Monday Jan. 10 between West Seattle and downtown Seattle. The vessel was removed from service on Sept. 26 and service was temporarily transferred to pier 55 after it struck the Washington Street Boat Landing on the downtown waterfront.

Since the accident, the Rachel Marie has undergone a variety of repairs. In addition to repairing structural damage to the bow and deckhouse, all electronic propulsion control units and associated wiring were replaced and a new power failure alarm installed to ensure safety.

U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound investigators have determined the factors that contributed to the accident and have been working with the King County Marine Division to ensure appropriate corrective measures are implemented prior to clearing the vessel for service. The Marine Division operates the vessel on behalf of the King County Ferry District.

In recent days, the vessel has successfully completed rigorous sea trials to ensure all systems are operating normally, and with the Coast Guard’s clearance, is now ready for its safe return to regular operations.

8 Replies to "Rachel Marie returns to West Seattle Water Taxi run on Monday"

  • Bill January 7, 2011 (1:35 pm)

    I am new to the area and wonder if the sailing schedule will increase with this ship back in action? It seems like a great way to go downtown from Alki here, but current schedule does not work for going out to dinner.

  • WSB January 7, 2011 (1:37 pm)

    In the off-season, it’s commute-only. This is actually the first year it’s been year-round … previously it ran only (roughly) April-October. If you are interested in changes, I would suggest letting your King County Councilmember, Joe McDermott, know! – p.s., welcome to the area! – TR

  • Bill January 7, 2011 (1:48 pm)

    Thanks for the info.
    My wife and I are loving it.

  • JayDee January 7, 2011 (1:56 pm)

    I was wondering if the Melissa Ann had similar issues since they are sister ships. I remember one weekend last summer it’s electronics failed and kept it from running. But I haven’t heard anything about possible repairs to the Melissa Ann.

  • Noelle January 7, 2011 (2:06 pm)

    Good to hear! Thank you WSB!

  • Eric January 7, 2011 (2:08 pm)

    The specs on king county’s website list quite different hp for the engines on the melissa ann versus the rachel marie, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the control systems are also different.

  • JHG January 8, 2011 (2:00 am)


  • Z January 12, 2011 (7:15 pm)

    I do remember that before the boats went to Hawaii, the Melissa Ann had her engines replaced. It was when the Kitsap Ferry Company was operating and using a boat for the Bremerton/Seattle passenger only trip. I don’t know if the Rachel Marie had new engines too. If not, it could explain the HP differences.

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