King County Ferry District followups: From barge to boats

March 11, 2013 10:28 pm
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 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

More news from the King County Ferry District, including a followup on part of this morning’s report:

The Ferry District board chair, West Seattle’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott, shared the view from his office as the county’s new maintenance and moorage barge arrived from Tacoma – that’s it on the center-left side of the photo. It’s 40′ by 120′ and was built mostly in Portland, then towed to Tacoma for the final phase of work. It has a few more weeks of work to go, hooking up utilities and so on, before it’s ready for use.

This afternoon, the Ferry Board’s executive committee approved the letter we mentioned this morning, officially accepting the transfer of the Spirit of Kingston, no longer needed after a passenger run ended between Seattle and Kingston. It’s an 8-year-old, 65-foot catamaran that was at first proposed to be used as a Water Taxi backup, though, checking Ferry District meeting records, we note Marine Division staff recommended that it become the primary West Seattle vessel. (We’ll check on where that stands.)

The two older boats on the West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi runs don’t have to hang on too much longer; the executive committee also was briefed this afternoon on the county’s plan to put out RFPs (requests for proposals) by month’s end for two new aluminum catamarans with capacity up to 250 passengers. An earlier step in the process drew qualified responses from Bellingham’s All American Marine and a team led by Seattle’s Kvichak Marine, according to the newest Water Taxi newsletter. If the process proceeds as planned, the first boat may be delivered in the third quarter of next year, with the second one a few months later. The current boats are leased, not owned.

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