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Hiyu sold: This is what will happen to the aging ferry

The Hiyu was Washington's smallest ferry. (State of Washington)

It seems that someone has answered the question previously posed by MyNorthwest and knows what to do with an old Washington state ferry. At least, they know when it comes to the M/V Hiyu.

The Washington State Department of Transportation says that the M/V Hiyu was sold:

Washington State Ferries announced today the sale of its smallest retired ferry, Hiyu, to Menagerie Inc. The 50-year-old ferry officially changes hands Wednesday, Feb. 8, when it will be towed from the Eagle Harbor maintenance yard. The new owner plans to repurpose the vessel as a floating entertainment venue.

Related: What would you do with an old Washington state ferry?

The Hiyu is about 162 feet long and can carry about 34 vehicles. It began ferrying passengers across Puget Sound in 1967, but it was put in storage back in the ’90s. WSDOT has been using the ferry as a relief vessel in recent years.

“We make every effort to keep our retired ferries operational, instead of being sold for scrap,” said WSF Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa. “I’m pleased the Hiyu will continue to serve Washingtonians on the water in her second life as a floating entertainment locale.”

New life for Hiyu

Hiyu sold for $150,000 to Menagerie Inc. The company got a deal. That’s half of the original auction price of $300,000.

WSDOT expects to turn over the keys to the new owner on Feb. 8. But locals need not miss the classic ferry boat too soon. It will be towed across Puget Sound from Eagle Harbor at Bainbridge Island, pass through the Ballard Locks, and to Lake Union in Seattle.

That’s right. Hiyu’s new home will be on Lake Union where it will become a floating entertainment venue. The idea is not too far-fetched. There is already one ferry on Lake Union that was converted into a venue — the M/V Skansonia.

If you’re kicking yourself for missing out on the Hiyu, don’t worry. WSDOT is auctioning off one other ferry boat — the M/V Evergreen. It’s a bit bigger, and the auction deadline has come and gone. WSDOT reports that it is negotiating with parties to sell the boat, but no official deals have been made.

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