State aims to stop ferries from leaning when empty

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Friday, February 15, 2013 5:35pm
  • Local News

Washington State Ferries will soon take the lean out of its three newest ferries.

Adjustments will be made so the Chetzemoka, Salish and Kennewick will no longer list when the boats are empty, Assistant Secretary of Transportation David Moseley said Thursday. The work involves adding tons of ballast on each vessel.

“It’s a simple fix,” he said.

Customers, crew members and lawmakers have complained about the list on the 64-car vessels since the first of the boats, the Chetzemoka, went into service in 2010. They don’t like looking at it and worry it will be a cause of future maintenance problems.

Moseley said he made the decision in response to the concerns.

“We haven’t done it because we don’t think and we still don’t think it creates a long-term problem for the vessels,” he said.

Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, applauded the news.

“It’s a topic of discussion that I’ve been having with the Department of Transportation for several months now,” she said. “I’m pleased they are going to take action.”

The boats are designed to lean when there are no vehicles because not all the weight is evenly distributed.

On each boat, the stairs, elevator and exhaust pipes are grouped together in one spot which puts more weight on that side of the boat, explained Cotty Fay, chief naval architect for the Washington State Ferries. When cars and trucks load, it balances out the vessel, he said.

The state plans to pour steel shot – a granular material used for sandblasting – into existing metal box-like containers on top of each boat’s two fuel tanks, Fay said. It’s going to take about 180,000 pounds of steel shot for the vessels.

Moseley estimated the fix will cost $300,000 and be finished by the end of June.

More in Local News

Turkey talk: Kindergartners explain the Thanksgiving holiday

Our annual pilgrimage led us this year to Pathfinder Kindergarten Center in Everett.

Police locate suspect in Snohomish River after he fled

They used a thermal-imaging camera to locate the man in the water near Dagmars Marina.

Electrical fire on roof of Marysville school extinguished

There was no apparent structural damage to Cascade Elementary School.

As police closed in, 2 heavily armed pot-shop robbers fled

Cops surrounded the place in Mountlake Terrace. The suspects were tracked by dogs and apprehended nearby.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

In Sultan, there was a seat at the table for everyone

Every year, the town’s community dinner ensures no one has to dine alone on Thanksgiving.

Most Read