Backups expected as ferry gets dockside checkup

Just as the tourism season is kicking into high gear, the Clinton-to-Mukilteo ferry route is losing a boat for most of the day on Tuesday, June 18.

The reduction to one-boat service is bound to increase wait times, but it could be worse.

Ian Sterling, spokesman for Washington State Ferries, said officials arranged with the U.S. Coast Guard to have the five-year safety inspection of the 144-car Olympic Class vessel Tokitae take place at the Clinton dock.

Normally, the ferry would have to travel to the state’s boatyard at Eagle Harbor for an inspection, which could take anywhere from a day to week.

In fact, Sterling said this might be the first time for a dock-side ferry checkup.

After the Tokitae arrives at 9 a.m., divers will take a look at the submerged parts of the boats. They will note such things as cracks, corrosion, worn parts, tangled crab pot lines and whale-shaped dents.

“It’s a relatively new boat so we don’t expect any issues,” Sterling said.

Last year, the Tokitae and Sealth received awards for 100 percent mechanical reliability in a calendar year.

If all goes well, the Tokitae should go back into service at about 4 p.m.

The $144-million ferry, which was partially built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, was designed so that underwater inspections are easy, he said.

More in News

Series of felony cases on Whidbey Island involve impaired driving

Police and prosecutors on Whidbey Island have been busy in recent weeks… Continue reading

Neil Colburn recently closed Neil’s Clover Patch after about 40 years in Bayview. (Photo by Jessie Stensland /South Whidbey Record)
After 36 years, luck changes at Neil’s Clover Patch Cafe

To the surprise of many, the doors were locked, the grill turned… Continue reading

WhidbeyHealth still short on cash

A persistent decline in inpatient visits is contributing to low cash reserves… Continue reading

Extortion plan increases bail for molester suspect

A judge in Island County Superior Court increased a suspected child molester’s… Continue reading

(File photo)
Whidbey Island Fair kicks off Thursday, runs July 18-21

Fair has showcased Whidbey Island agriculture, local talent for over 90 years

Islanders join protest against detention centers

Vigils, signs and demonstrations across Whidbey Friday

Advisory Board holding public hearing on draft short-term rental ordinance

What rules should apply to homeowners who rent out houses, rooms or… Continue reading

Island County seeking District 1 applicants for planning commission

The Island County Board of Commissioners is seeking applicants from District 1,… Continue reading

Whidbey Community Foundation Receives $10K for census work

Whidbey Community Foundation received $10,000 in funding from the Washington Census Equity… Continue reading

Most Read