Why can't we have these in BC whenever our ships come back from refits???
It would sure be fun.
That's one good question!
The folks down in the south Sound are really privileged and happy to have their ferry back after being away for some three years (2008-2010). So, they're having a party aboard and showing appreciation to the ferry built for their services.
Hopefully, we'll see the painting the folks of Port Townsend presented to Pierce County mounted on her bulkhead.
A fun trip for the south Sound folks to take and to see more of that area as well!
All Pierce County Ferry riders are invited to join in the welcoming back of the Steilacoom II. The event will include a trip around Anderson Island, and the presentation of the Steilacoom II back to its regular service. (Light refreshments will be provided.)
* When: Saturday, February 19, 2011 – 9:50 – 11:00 a.m. * Where: Boarding at the Anderson Island Ferry Terminal at 9:50 a.m., sailing around the island and returning to the terminal at 11:00 a.m.
Note: An earlier post incorrectly noted the Steilacoom dock as the launching point of the tour.
There won't be any boarding at Steilacoom as previously noted on the Suburban Times. The only way to get to Anderson Island for mainland folks is by the 0900 sailing from Steilacoom aboard the CHRISTINE ANDERSON.
An email from PC says that the ST2 will run for two weeks at a time and the CA the other two at a time beginning in March.
I happened to make it down to Steilacoom on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon, so I went for a ride on Christine Anderson and took some photos of Steilacoom II. They did a good job getting STII patched and re-painted - looks like a brand-new boat.
Steilacoom II at Steilacoom
Steilacoom II (left) and Christine Anderson (right) docked at Steilacoom, WA
Well, folks, the STEILACOOM II is back at work on her originally intended service down on the South Sound part of the Salish Sea.
The CHRISTINE ANDERSON broke down on Friday, March 4. The bulletin from Pierce County states:
Mar 4, 2011 Ferry Delay Notice Due to mechanical problems with the Christine Anderson Ferry the ferry crew will be changing over to the ST II. Please be patient while this process takes place. The ferry will be running late for a few runs.
Mar 7, 2011 Ferry Delay Notice Due to mechanical issues this morning at start up, the ST II will be running 15 to 20 minutes late most of the morning.
Post by compdude787 on Jul 7, 2013 14:58:49 GMT -8
I was going thru all the photos on my computer and I found this photo of the Steilacoom II that I took in March 2010 when she was still up at Keystone. This would have been a great photo to enter in the flagship contest for June, which was open-deck ferries. But when I was looking thru the photos, I didn't see this one; all I saw was ones that were too close-up to work as a flagship banner. Anyway, here it is:
New technology saves Pierce Co. $137,000 in ferry fuel costs By Kiersten Throndsen Published: Sep 27, 2013 at 11:08 AM PDT Last Updated: Sep 27, 2013 at 12:09 PM PDT
Pierce County installed the Texas-based technology on the M/V Steilacoom II last June.
PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. -- Mean, green fighting machines are taking over Washington waterways, wreaking havoc on rising ferry budgets and increasing fuel emissions; and Pierce County transportation leaders couldn't be more excited.
"We were amazed to see the results," said Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator.
Wallace is referring to the money the county saved in fuel costs after installing technology from a Texas-based company on the engines of its two ferries: the M/V Steilacoom II and M/V Christine Anderson.
"In the last six months, we've seen a savings of 32.2 percent in fuel costs, and 23.4 percent savings in gallons used," Wallace said.
Last summer, Emissions Technology, Inc. asked Pierce County to participate in a pilot project using its UltraBurn Combustion technology on its boats.
"We looked at it, talked to people within our equipment services department to make sure it wouldn't harm the vessels," Wallace said. "As long as there was no harm, and there was potential to see a 5 to 10-percent savings, we thought it was a good thing."
Mark Spoon, CEO of the company, said their technology ultimately increases the combustion efficiency of an engine, resulting in more power while at the same time lowering the concentration of emissions. This same system had been used on engines in a number of other fields, such as mining, oil and gas drilling and rail transportation, but it was the first time on a ferry.
In the course of a year, Pierce County reportedly saved $137,770 in diesel fuel costs and approximately 23,657 gallons of diesel fuel. Wallace said based on these results the county is already looking at lowering their budget request for fuel next year by 20 percent.
Spoon said ferry systems lend themselves well to this type of technology, not only for fuel savings but also improving air quality.
"It dramatically reduces black smoke -- what we see in diesel engines when they start up," Spoon said.
The company has also worked with Skagit County, installing its technology on the engine of the M/V Guemes. Spoon said ferry administrators there really wanted to focus on reducing their carbon footprint, and over the course of a three-month test period they reported a 40-percent reduction in black smoke emissions.
Spoon said he believes this kind of technology can help the Washington state ferry system run cleaner and more efficiently while saving the state money.
Now, that they have results from both Pierce and Skagit counties' ferry systems, Spoon said Emissions Technology, Inc. plans to contact the Washington State Department of Transportation to see if more of the state's ferries can take advantage of this technology.
Last Edit: Sept 27, 2013 12:45:53 GMT -8 by EGfleet
Anderson Island offers tranquility, spectacular views — but also headaches for some ferry commuters
By Brynn Grimley Staff writerAugust 16, 2014
Pierce County’s ferries make more than 200 individual trips per week. For Anderson Island residents, the first boat of the day leaves the island at 6:15 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. Sunday. The last returning boat leaves Steilacoom at 7:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 8:40 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For July and August only, the last Friday boat leaves Steilacoom at 11 p.m.
For the full ferry schedule, go online to bit.ly/1p6WfG5.
As the waters of South Puget Sound ripple below and the town of Steilacoom shrinks in the distance, Anderson Island resident Steve Francis takes in panoramic views of the Tacoma Narrows bridges, McNeil and Ketron islands, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains.
The 20-minute ferry ride is the final leg of his daily commute returning from the Pierce County mainland. After the stress of the evening rush hour, he appreciates someone else taking the helm.
“You’re riding over and it’s like a whole weight is lifted,” said Francis, who works for a private contractor building sheds.
Anderson Island offers residents tranquility on its 7.75 square miles. It is the southernmost island in Puget Sound and is home to a network of trails and parks, paved roads perfect for bicycle rides, and two freshwater lakes.
About 1,000 people live there year-round. The population triples in the summer when people flock to vacation homes that make up most of the island’s housing.
But with the natural beauty and affordable property comes compromise.
“You become a slave to the ferry,” said daily commuter Christine Kaempfer, who has rented a home on the island for two years.
Like many on the island, Kaempfer and Francis commute daily and have to adjust work schedules to meet limited ferry departures. On most nights, the last boat leaves Steilacoom before 9 p.m.
For those who miss it, options are limited: Stay in a hotel, find a friend’s couch or sleep in the car.
“That’s part of living on an island,” said Kaempfer, who works at St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood. “If you live on an island, you have to be a homebody.”
But not everyone wants to be a homebody. A group of year-round island residents including commuters, real estate professionals, members of the Anderson Island Citizens Advisory Board and the general manager of the island’s homeowners association are petitioning Pierce County to expand service. Without it, they say the island will suffer.
County officials, however, say the solution is not as easy as adding an extra run because ferry fares do not cover the cost of running boats to the island. Already, 381,970 taxpayers in unincorporated Pierce County are subsidizing a transit service for 1,037 year-round islanders.
Meanwhile, some island lovers have left.
Limited ferry service forced newlyweds Kristie Flournoy, 22, and Cooley Pasley, 28, off the island this summer. The couple had moved to Anderson Island from Arkansas in 2013 after Flournoy was offered a job in Seattle.
Despite being one of the few young couples on the island, the pair wanted to make it work. But they couldn’t find jobs that fit the ferry schedule. They now rent in Lakewood, but haven’t given up on the idea of returning.
“Our five-year goal is to own land on the island and to build a home for ourselves on the island,” Flournoy said. “But that’s completely dependent on the ferry schedule expanding.”
The majority of Anderson Island’s full-time population is retirement age, or fast approaching it.
Forty-four percent are between the ages of 50 and 69; 18 percent are 70 to 85 years old and up, according to the 2010 census.
Only 63 people in their 30s live on the island year-round, according to the data.
The island is an affordable place to live compared with the rest of Pierce County, but limited ferry service keeps working professionals away, said island real estate agents Sarah Garmire and Cheryl Steffen.
And without a strong contingent of working families, property values will fall and those who live there year-round will be hurt financially, they said.
“The majority of our population is on fixed incomes,” said Garmire, a broker for Real Living Northwest Inc. “We need the working demographic, and we’re not getting it because of the ferry schedule.”
A 14-year island resident, Garmire watched the recession affect people’s ability to pay property taxes and their annual homeowner association dues to the Riviera Community Club. While property values are picking up in Pierce County, the island remains in the bottom 4 percent for improvement, Garmire said.
Of the island’s 3,906 tax parcels, the county owns 131 that went into foreclosure and were put up for auction but not purchased, according to Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan.
The island saw its highest foreclosure rate in 2012 when 86 properties were delinquent on three years’ worth of tax payments. There are 47 foreclosed properties currently on the island.
Some property owners are so desperate to sell, they’ve dropped their list price to $2,000 for vacant land, Steffen said. The agents no longer list vacant parcels because land is not selling, she said.
The Riviera comprises 3,196 lots sized 0.2 acre each. The majority that are developed are vacation homes for retirement-age people, according to John Baird, general manager of the Riviera. The association needs age diversification among its property owners to succeed, he said.
“People you need to improve the vitality of the island aren’t coming on the island because of the ferry,” Baird said.
Ninety percent of potential renters and 50 percent to 60 percent of interested buyers who contact Garmire and Steffen cite ferry service as a reason for not coming to the island, Garmire said.
“Those of us that are frustrated by the schedule, we love (island life) and we want this, but we want what’s available on the other side, too,” island resident Ann Dasch said. “We don’t need the boat to run to midnight, but we do need something that’s reasonable.”
‘THE SWEET SPOT’
Many island commuters are making the current ferry schedule work. Some rent parking spaces in Steilacoom and keep one car on the island and another on the mainland. Walking on the ferry is cheaper, and with a 200-passenger capacity, commuters know they’ll make the boat instead of competing for one of 54 car spots.
Some people rent apartments on the mainland. Some who sporadically miss the boat rely on the generosity of friends.
The island’s middle and high school students who attend school on the mainland may have to spend the night with a friend or get a hotel room if an extracurricular activity ends after the last boat.
A survey of ferry riders earlier this year showed people wanted an earlier run in the morning and a later run at night. In response, the county bumped up its morning departure by 15 minutes and added a year-round 8:40 p.m. run on Thursdays. To break even, it discontinued its less-used 10 p.m. Sunday run.
“We try to serve the people the best we can,” said Deb Wallace, Pierce County airport and ferry administrator. “My sense of it is we’re not going to make everyone happy, so we try to find the sweet spot.”
Adrienne Morton works in the Tideflats area of Tacoma and has lived on the island for 20 years. She catches the first boat in the morning and hurries to catch the 5:10 p.m. boat home.
Morton said she doesn’t think adding service would be enough to persuade many people to move to the island. Instead, she said, it could lead to fare increases that might force more residents to move away.
Ideally, rider fares would cover the full cost to keep the ferries running, but in reality they only account for 47 percent, Wallace said. The rest is subsidized with money from the county road fund and grants, she said.
“Compared to what (island residents) pay, they get a huge return on the county road fund,” Wallace said.
For comparison, Whatcom County operates a 20-car, 100-passenger ferry to Lummi Island to serve 900 year-round residents. Ferry fares are set at a rate high enough to cover 55 percent of operating costs. Collections in 2013 came in at 58 percent, according to the Whatcom County public works website.
The state ferry system, which operates multiple runs from the Kitsap Peninsula, San Juan Islands and Canada, saw a 70 percent farebox recovery last year.
For Pierce County to add a ferry run without eliminating another during the day, fares would have to cover operational costs. But a 2013 report produced by the county showed the amount of money collected in fares would not support it.
“We know we could add service all over the place and it would be used, but it won’t be enough to pay for it,” Wallace said.
The county increased fares in 2008, in 2012 and most recently by 3 percent at the start of 2014. Another increase is planned for 2015 to help the system stay close to a 50 percent cost-recovery rate.
The county contracts with Hornblower Marine Services to run the ferry. If the ferry took a break during the afternoon in order to run later at night, the county would pay labor costs “without productivity,” Wallace said.
LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS
Pierce County operates 16 hours of daily ferry service Monday through Thursday, with additional evening runs Friday and Saturday and a shorter schedule Sunday. The ferry makes more than 200 individual trips per week between Anderson and Ketron islands and the mainland.
The county’s ferry system predates the state’s and was never picked up by Washington State Ferries because it doesn’t connect to a state highway.
It’s been at least a decade since the county conducted an extensive review of its ferry system and created a planning document to shape operations. It will begin that process again next month with a waterborne transportation study that will look at service levels for both Anderson and Ketron islands.
The consultant-led survey will look at island demographics and forecast how the islands might grow in the next 20 years. Ten years ago, the study cost the county $250,000. That’s the same amount the Pierce County Council budgeted for it this year.
The study also will look at how to improve economics on Anderson Island through ferry accessibility. Information gleaned from the study will help set a ferry rate structure that makes sense, Pierce County Councilman Doug Richardson said.
If the results indicate people want changes in ferry service, county leaders will look at how to make that happen without adding costs, Richardson said.
For commuters such as Francis, who likes to unwind on the ferry after a day building sheds, he hopes the study results in an extra evening run.
“When you get there and you see the boat sail away without you, you’re thinking ‘Man, if I wouldn’t have taken that five minutes talking to the chatty customer,’ ” he said. “That extra five minutes would have made all the difference in the world.”
Peak season car rate (May 1 to Sept. 30) — $21.65
Off season car rate (Oct. 1 to April 30) — $17.30
Walk-on rate (year-round) — $5.15
* Vehicle rates apply to vehicles measuring 21 feet and under. The rates vary for larger vehicles.
** Rates are round trip; fares are collected in Steilacoom.
The ferry makes a total of 222 individual trips per week. For Anderson Island residents, the first boat of the day leaves the island at 6:15 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. Sunday. The last returning boat leaves Steilacoom at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8:40 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For the months of July and August only, the last Friday boat leaves Steilacoom at 11 p.m.
For the full ferry schedule, go online to bit.ly/1p6WfG5
Really interesting and old photo of the ferry dock at Steilacoom. I believe the ferry is the the Tahoma, which was on the run from 1938-77. Am willing to hear arguments for/against this, however as it is somewhat difficult to make an ID with the boat appearing that small.
(Part of this release is on the HIYU thread on this forum due to her being mentioned below.)
Just as doctors recommend annual physicals for their patients, the U.S. Coast Guard also insists on ferry boat inspections every two years.
One of Pierce County’s two ferries, the M/V Steilacoom II, will motor into dry dock on June 1 for its biennial inspection, which will last three weeks. The county’s other ferry, the M/V Christine Anderson, will handle the full schedule.
The inspection and maintenance of the ferry is a routine procedure. In the unlikely event that the Christine Anderson encounters problems while the Steilacoom II is in dry dock, the County would implement a Ferry Operations Contingency Plan – which includes options such as chartering the M/V Hiyu from the State of Washington, if needed.
Coast Guard regulations require the ferries to hold a valid certificate of inspection in order to lawfully operate. The County request to extend the certificate to the end of June was denied by the Coast Guard, requiring the boat to be taken out of service until it returns from the shipyard.
While in dry dock at Vigor Industrial shipyard – the successful bidder located in Seattle – the ferry will undergo a hull inspection and standard maintenance and repair work identified as part of the inspection. The cost of the dry dock inspection is $1.4 million.
“County residents who depend on the ferry system can rest assured there are failsafes in place to ensure the islands have transportation service,” said Councilmember Doug Richardson, who represents the 6th Council District in which the ferries operate. “These boats have to be checked for safety and maintenance just like any other vehicle, but we anticipate being back at full strength before the July 4th holiday.”
The ferry division, managed by Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, operates between 12 and 15 runs each day from the Steilacoom terminal to Anderson and Ketron islands. The ferries carried approximately 382,690 one-way passengers last year, a 4.22-percent increase over 2013.
FOX TV Network showed two ferries yesterday during its broadcast of the 2015 US Open golf tournament. This is being played at Chambers Bay, located just north of Steilacoom WA. A few trains were shown passing by as well.
The first ferry shown was the first STEILACOOM in her current configuration. She was one of a few boats floating off the golf course during the day. The second one was the CHRISTINE ANDERSON. Neither were captured by my camera during the original broadcast. I was able to freeze the screen to get the CA, though, during the replay. The CA was shown as one of the closing scenes of the regular broadcast. Here she is:
The final rounds of this tournament tees off Sunday (06-21-2015).
Meanwhile, it looks like PC should have planned its drydockings better. One vessel service, rather than two, is planned for the July 4th holiday. I would be surprised if they changed their minds and add the HIYU in place of the ST2.
The biennial inspection of the M/V Steilacoom II, one of Pierce County’s two ferries, will begin June 12, and is expected to be complete July 9. The county’s other ferry, the M/V Christine Anderson, will handle the full schedule.
Vigor Industrial, the contractor for the work, initially planned to dry dock the boat on June 1. However, due to limited dry dock availability, the final schedule calls for the work to begin June 12.
For the Fourth of July weekend, the ferry system will operate a one-boat service instead of a two-boat service as it has the past four years. The ferry will operate on the holiday schedule on July 3 and 4. Pierce County will also extend the service day by adding a triangle departing Steilacoom at 11 p.m. on July 3 and 4 to accommodate travelers. Ketron Island passengers must make a reservation by calling (253) 588-1950 at least 20 minutes in advance.
“We wanted to let our ferry riders know now that we will have a one-boat service over the busy holiday weekend so they can plan accordingly,” said Deb Wallace, Pierce County Public Works airport and ferry administrator.
The M/V Steilacoom II’s certificate of inspection, which is required to operate the ferry, expired in March. The ferry must have the dry dock inspection before its certificate can be renewed. Pierce County was unable to get the ferry into dry dock sooner due to a lack of space in shipyards, the small amount of bidders that handle such work and limited staff resources.
While in dry dock at Vigor Industrial’s Seattle shipyard, the ferry will undergo a hull inspection and standard maintenance and repair work identified as part of the inspection. If the need for more significant repair work is discovered, the time the ferry is in dry dock could be extended. The contract bid price cost of the dry dock inspection, maintenance and repairs is approximately $1.4 million.
If the M/V Christine Anderson encounters problems while the M/V Steilacoom II is in dry dock, the county would implement a Ferry Operations Contingency Plan – which includes options such as chartering the M/V Hiyu from the State of Washington, if needed.
The Pierce County Ferry System provides service between Steilacoom and Anderson and Ketron islands.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Anne Radford, Public Works public information officer
The West Seattle Blog has added a photo of the STEILACOOM II at Vigor. Hot linking is not permitted on this forum (using/linking someone's photo site to display a photo directly onto this one without permission), so I'm only providing this photo's link for you to click on to see it:
Post by SS San Mateo on Aug 10, 2015 12:59:22 GMT -8
It looks like there was either a delay getting the Steilacoom II into drydock or more work was needed. She was moored at Vigor for several weeks after the inspection was supposed to have been completed and she was moved into drydock late last week.
Post by SS San Mateo on Aug 12, 2015 12:20:58 GMT -8
Turns out additional repairs were needed.
The M/V Steilacoom II is expected to return to service in mid-September once its biennial inspection and subsequent repairs are completed.
The ferry went into dry dock June 12. While at contractor Vigor Industrial’s Seattle shipyard, the ferry underwent a hull inspection and standard maintenance and repair work identified as part of the inspection. Engines, electrical systems, fluid systems, furnishings, valves and more were inspected, repaired, upgraded and replaced as needed. Parts of the ferry have been pressure washed and spot cleaned, and received new paint. Emergency lighting was upgraded with LED lights. Routine maintenance and repairs have been completed on the ferry’s steering and propulsion system.
The ferry was expected to return to service July 9, but the dry dock period was extended after the inspection found damage to the marine gears.
Final costs are anticipated to be in excess of $1.9 million, once additional work is fully identified and completed.
Post by Elwha on the Rocks on Nov 3, 2015 9:58:56 GMT -8
So back in late August when I learned that the Steilacoom II would be out all summer I decided to take a trip on the Christine Anderson. I had never ridden on any Pierce County Ferry before, and I was very impressed with the system! Here's a few pics:
The waiting room at Steiacoom was very pleasant, better than most WSF waiting rooms:
Boarding the Christine Anderson:
Looking up at the pilothouse from the promenade deck:
Relatively light load on this mid-afternoon sailing to Anderson Island:
Interesting that the nets only have one pole that goes into the cardeck, whereas all of the WSF ferries have two:
Arriving at Anderson Island, you are allowed to stay aboard if you are doing a round trip:
Full cardeck on the return trip:
The cabin is small, but comfortable and adequate for this short run:
The Ketron Island terminal with the Olympic beached to the side of the terminal:
Arriving back at Steilacoom:
Docked at Steilacoom, ready to take on cars for another sailing to Anderson Island. I find it interesting that the ships tie up on the Steilacoom side and not Anderson Island:
Overall I really enjoyed my trip on the Christine Anderson, and I would recommend the trip to others if you are in the area.
Post by SS San Mateo on Feb 29, 2016 9:24:44 GMT -8
No service this morning:
The Pierce County Ferry is out of service due to electrical issues on the Steilacoom II. A repair tech is responding. The Steilacoom II is expected to be out of service most of the day. Please plan accordingly. We will post an update later this morning.
The Christine Anderson is currently out of service. It is having a Coast Guard inspection later this morning following Coast Guard-required repairs to water cooling pipes. The vessel will undergo operational testing later this afternoon, and may be available to carry passengers this evening. Expect to see the Christine Anderson landing at Steilacoom and Anderson Island, though she is unable to carry passengers until safety testing is completed.