The Washington State Ferries has issued a travel alert that the Elwha is out ofservice for repairs, affecting ferry travel. The Hyak will be replacing the Elwha routes for Dec. 30 service.
Over the year, the Elwha has been out of service four times for varying lengths. After four months of repairs to the drive motor over the summer, the Elwha only recently came back into service.
According to WSF spokesperson Brian Mannion, this is the third time since then that the Elwha has been out with issues due to propulsion controls, the ferry was generally out for about 24 hours. WSF is now taking the issue up with the manufacturer.
Mannion said the Elwha was made in 1967, and they usually expect to get about 60 years of use out of state ferries, which would put the Elwha’s retirement in 2027.
“The goal right now is to permanently resolve the issue,” Mannion said about the Elwha repairs. “There are no plans to replace it, we keep on top of service and repair to hit that 60 year service mark.”
It’s one of only two vessels that has the equipment required to do international service to Sidney B.C.
WSF released these travel alerts over the past few days:
The Elwha remains out of service for necessary repairs. The 8:55 a.m. eastboundsailing from Orcas to Shaw and Anacortes remains cancelled. The 10:20 a.m.westbound sailing from Anacortes to Lopez and Friday Harbor, and the 12:10 p.m.eastbound sailing from FridayHarbor to Lopez and Anacortes are now alsocancelled. This is the Elwha’s last scheduled trip for the day, so all other sailings forthe remainder of the day on the other vessels will depart as scheduled.
The interisland vessel, Klahowya, is delayed 30 minutes due to limited vesselcapacity on the route due to mechanical issues with the Elwha. This delay currentlyimpacts the 10:15am departure from Shaw, the 10:35am from Orcas, and the11:15am arrival in Friday Harbor.
Updated 2:58 p.m. 12/28/15
The Elwha will not be repaired in time for morning service Tuesday, December 29.The following westbound sailings from Anacortes are cancelled: 4:30 a.m. to FridayHarbor, 7:40 a.m. to Shaw and Orcas, and 10:20 a.m. to Lopez and Friday Harbor.The following eastbound sailings are cancelled: 5:55 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. fromFriday Harbor, 6:40 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. from Lopez, 8:55 a.m. from Orcas andthe9:10 a.m. from Shaw.
Customers with reservations on these sailings will be prioritized on a first come,first serve basis on other sailings with other reservation holders ahead of thosewithout a reservation. New reservations for Tuesday, Dec. 29 are blocked. Tuesdayreservation holders choosing not to travel will not be penalized a “no show fee.”WSF is working to move a replacement vessel to the islands as soon as possible.
Updated 3:03 p.m. 12/28/15
The inter-island vessel, Klahowya, is delayed 30 minutes due to limited vesselcapacity on the route due to mechanical issues with the Elwha. This delay currentlyimpacts the 2:55 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. departures from Orcas, the 3:10 p.m. and3:55 p.m. from Shaw, and the3:35 p.m. from Lopez.
Updated 3:46 p.m. 12/29/15
Normal service resumes on 12/30 with the 4:30 a.m. sailing from Anacortes toFriday Harbor. The Hyak is replacing the Elwha while the vessel is out undergoingnecessary repairs. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.