Wenatchee Approaching Seattle

The Ship:

  • Owner: Washington State Ferries
  • Flag: USA
  • Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
  • Call Sign: WCY3378
  • Length: 138 meters
  • Beam: 26.7 meters
  • Tonnage: 4,998 GT
  • Year of Build: 1998
  • Builder: Todd Shipyard, Seattle, WA
  • Yard Number: 92

The Story:

The infamous ferry MV Wenatchee. If there is a vessel in the fleet of Washington State Ferries that’s likely to encounter some form of mishap, she seems to be the one.

Now, I’m not spreading rumors about the safety of the ship here. She’s just as sound as anything else in the WSF fleet, especially now that the paper-thin hulls of the old Steel Electrics have met the scrapper’s torch. but, she does have bit of a history…

Jump back to the year 2000, and the ship made headlines when she struck an unchartered rock in Eagle Harbor. The incident put a crack in the hull and damaged a propeller, causing  $350,000 in damage.

Fast forward five years, and the Wenatchee narrowly avoided disater, coming within 1,600 feet of colliding with the container vessel Knut Maersk after a series of bad communications between the vessels.

Speed forward another four years, and this time the headlines read “Bainbridge ferry damaged after ‘hard landing‘” following a collision with Colman Pier in Seattle, again costing taxpayers ~$300,000 in repairs.

Now, I’m not saying your life is particularly at risk on the Wenatchee, and I’d trust a ride on her just as much as any other ferry in the fleet, but, three major incidents and counting in a 12 year lifespan may not indicate the best of luck for this vessel.

About Fairlane
Photographer, historian, nerd, engineer, thirty-something - Those are a few of the words that describe me. Though I have varied interests, one of my passions in maritime history, which I enjoy sharing. If you want to find out what I can tell, please follow my blog.

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