What would you do with an old Washington state ferry?

Oct 8, 2016, 2:10 AM | Updated: 10:20 pm

Washington is unloading two of its ferries from its fleet this month. One ferry for sale is the fleet’s smallest, and the other is the oldest. And for at least $300,000, one of them can be yours. The only question left then is what to do with it.

Ferry for sale

The Evergreen State ferry has been retired and is up for auction for $425,000. (State of Washington)

Washington State Ferries is selling the Hiyu and the Evergreen State. The Hiyu is the fleet’s smallest at 150 feet — it can hold 34 cars. It was built in 1967, and is going for $300,000. The Evergreen State ferry for sale, on the other hand, is 297 feet and was built in 1954. Its drive motors — named “Nadene” — are surplus from a WWII destroyer. Its price tag is currently $450,000.

Elwha on the Rocks: The ferry crash that inspired a song and a drink

So what to do with an old ferry for sale? There are plenty of options. Here are a few from the MyNorthwest staff. Have a better idea? Leave a comment below.

What to do with a ferry for sale?

Nightclub: The MV Skansonia was builtin 1929 and served Puget Sound commuters until 1967. It has been moored in Lake Union since 1971 and currently serves as a venue — there are many weddings there. But it is also rented out for a variety of parties and events.

Home sweet home: Living aboard is not new to Washington waters. But imagine what you can do with a ferry between 150-297 feet! The MV City of Seattle was built in Portland in 1888 and was immediately used as a ferry in Seattle. But newer ferries soon left the City of Seattle in their wake. After helping the WWII war effort, the boat was retired. Today, however, it’s at home in San Francisco. The Hiyu, even the Evergreen State, is more modern than an 1888 model. In fact, you could likely rent out half of the ship to off-set your costs. Talk about high ceilings.

Start your own ferry service: Before Washington state took on the duties of ferrying people around Puget Sound, the area was served by mosquito fleets – privately run ferries that were heavily relied upon for transportation of people and goods. The remnants of the fleets’ docks can still be found on Bainbridge Island and other shores. Foot ferries have been discussed in various Kitsap County communities — some are highly in favor of them, others aren’t.

Negligently let it rot: With a stylish art-deco look, the Kalakala was once the pride of the Washington ferry system. It ended service in the ’60s. After that, it never quite got back up to speed, slowly degrading over time. It was stripped of much of its value over the decades. The owners eventually stopped paying moorage fees, and it was scrapped in 2015.

Change careers: Washington State Ferries had problems selling the MV Rhododendron in 2013. Like the Hiyu, it was smaller — 227 feet. It was originally sold at auction for the same asking price of the Hiyu — $300,000. But the sale fell through and the state had to let it go for the lower price of $275,000. It now assists with oyster farming in Fanny Bay, B.C.

Local News

SDOT Light Rail Ped...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Pedestrian struck, injured by Link light rail train in south Seattle

A pedestrian was struck and injured by a Link light rail train Wednesday afternoon in south Seattle.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of King County)...
Frank Sumrall

King County executive initiates plan to conserve and save the region’s wilderness

King County executive announced a plan to protect 65,000 acres of forests, farmland, and greenspace, raising property taxes in the process.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Drought may impact most of Pacific Northwest this summer

Drought is expected to impact much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, impacting areas throughout eastern Washington, southern Oregon and southern Idaho.
1 day ago
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

SPD report discovers 80% of 911 calls were for non-criminal events

After reviewing more than 1.2 million 911 calls from 2017 to 2019, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) found 79.7% of calls were for non-criminal events.
1 day ago
KIRO 7 News Staff

9-year-old boy shot by younger brother in Federal Way

A 9-year-old boy was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after being shot by his younger brother in Federal Way.
1 day ago
The US government will fly in baby formula on commercial planes contracted by the military in an ai...
Heather Bosch

A guide to locate baby formula from Washington’s Department of Health

Washington's Department of Health has put together a list of resources to help find nutritious food to feed your newborn.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
What would you do with an old Washington state ferry?