Retired state ferry Rhododendron sold

SEATTLE — The retired Washington State Ferry Rhododendron has been sold to a Vancouver Island scallop farm.

The Kitsap Sun reported that the 66-year-old vessel was sold Tuesday for $275,000 to Island Scallops of Qualicum Beach, B.C., a branch of Atlantic Capes Fisheries of Cape May, N.J.

The 48-car ferry was last used in January 2012 on the Point Defiance-Tahlequah run between Tacoma and Vashon Island. It was replaced by the new 64-car Chetzemoka. The Rhododendron was named after Washington’s state flower and was known as the Rhody.

Island Scallops CEO Robert Saunders said engines will be removed and the 227-foot vessel will be used as a floating platform to handle scallops which are grown like oysters on vertical nets. The company grows about 3 million scallops a year.

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