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Repairs to Sealth extend San Juan Islands ferry service disruption; vessel expected back in service this week
Repairs to the 90-car Sealth continue after damage to the vessel’s engine output shaft was discovered on Jan. 5. Engineers estimate that the vessel will be ready to return to service by the end of this week, after repairs and sea trials are completed.
The Sealth was brought to WSF’s Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility on Bainbridge Island on Jan. 6, and engineers determined that extensive repairs would be required. WSF sent its only backup vessel, the 34-car Hiyu, to serve as the inter-island vessel in the San Juans beginning Jan. 7.
The 87-car Evergreen State is serving in place of the Sealth in the mornings. Customers should expect delays of 25 to 40 minutes mid-morning, due to the Evergreen State’s slower operating speed (13 knots versus 16 to 18 knots for the Sealth and the other Issaquah Class vessels). The 144-car Kaleetan serves in place of the Sealth on the afternoon sailings Monday through Thursday.
Crews have identified the repairs needed on the Sealth, obtained the parts, and are now performing the repairs, WSF reported. Engineers have also been working with a third party shafting/alignment specialist to identify the root cause of the damage and determine steps to take to prevent any reoccurrence.
“Workers at our Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility are doing everything they can to try to get the Sealth back in service for the holiday weekend,” said David Moseley, assistant transportation secretary for WSF.
WSF anticipates the repairs will be completed before the end of this week; however, the vessel will require extensive sea trials of up to eight hours to prove the repairs are satisfactory prior to returning vessel to operation.
To sign up for free e-mail alerts about service disruptions and other route information, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/email_alerts.