Very interesting -- has anyone here travelled on an IFA ferry?
If we can make another North Coast trip someday, I'll try to include a hop to Ketchikan or Petersburg, where Alaska Marine Hiway ferries connect with IFA. A bit costly from Prince Rupert, but worth a try.
Oh I agree! That green paint does not look good. I liked the green on WSFs but not on these vessels. I did hear that blue would not be used as it would create confusion with the "Blue Canoes" of the AMHS.
PS: I really do miss the all green stack with just a small white band of the WSF. I always wondered why they changed??
I really do miss the all green stack with just a small white band of the WSF. I always wondered why they changed??
I'm not sure, other than it seemed to change to evenly divided thirds--green, white, black from bottom to top sometime concurrent with the arrival of the Hyak. Then in 1979-80 the Issaquah-class boats began appearing with the DOT stripe on a white funnel, with the DOT "Flying T" logo bolted to the stack. It took several years to get changed over to DOT colors fleetwide, with the orange/green/blue racing stripe. The Kaleetan was the last "Evergreen Route" holdout, retaining her Toll Bridge Authority colors until 1988. (The Hiyu's stacks, modest though they be, never did get repainted. The high green with narrow white scheme was still on the boat when I worked aboard her in 1997.)
When the DOT racing stripe finally began disappearing in 1996 by order of then Port Captain John Ward (as an economy measure), the tri-color stripe was simply painted over in green, and any white gap between said stripe and deck on the funnels was also filled in with the green. Also, because the DOT logos on the stacks were on aluminum sheet metal and most of the stacks were steel, electrolysis was becoming a problem so the DOT logos began disappearing at that time. There's a stack of them down at Eagle Harbor, as well as one or two of the 1989 Centennial logos.
So, I don't have a "why", but I have a "when" for you. ;D
 Oh, and if you're looking to paint a model of a ferry, I find that Testor's glossy green, orange, and blue are pretty doggone close approximations.
Last Edit: Dec 6, 2006 14:42:18 GMT -8 by Barnacle
Post by SS San Mateo on Dec 6, 2006 15:24:37 GMT -8
The Elwha had a variation in the DOT colors. The white area on the stack was actually smaller than what it was in the "Evergreen Route" scheme. I'm not sure when that was changed but it wasn't until several years after her rebuilt.
Also, the gold band on the stacks (introduced in 1977 when the steel-electrics reached 50 years) disappeared and didn't come back until the 2'nd half of the 90's (by then, the Olympic was no longer in service and missed out getting a gold band on her stack ).
The Elwha's stack was indeed an anomaly. The black remained the same size as it had been for the "Evergreen Route" scheme; the light blue stripe was painted in the bottom edge of the white area, thus shrinking it; and the orange was added into the green somewhere with the margin below being painted white.
Speaking of the margin below the orange, that too was an inconsistency; some boats had white there but many had green.
The Inter-Island Ferry Authority recently announced that its current route from Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island to Wrangell and Petersburg might be discontinued because of low ridership and high fuel costs. Current ticket prices are experiencing sharp increases because of an added fuel surcharge that has been adjusted from week to week. Summer service on the Ketchikan route has been reduced from two trips to one trip per day. Two voyages are scheduled on Fridays during July and August, but this might change if fuel costs continue to increase.
Currently the Authority operates two vessels, MV Prince of Wales and MV Stikine on its routes.
The Inter-Island Ferry Authority recently announced that its current route from Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island to Wrangell and Petersburg might be discontinued because of low ridership and high fuel costs.
Indeed as Shasta mentioned the Coffman Cove - Wrangell - South Mitkof route has been suspended. I am not sure if it is just a temporary setback or something more permanent. While we were in Ketchikan, they swapped between using the Prince Of Wales and the Stikine for the Ketchikan - Hollis route a couple of times, but I didn't pay too close attention to how frequently. I was able to pick up one of their brochures (since their "terminal" is a corner of ours). Here are the scans:
You may have noticed that I only included every other page. The missing pages were just advertisements, so I left those out in favor of just posting the "meat" of the brochure.
My first response was something along the lines of another one?!
But after having thought a little about it, I think it is at least worth looking into.
The Prince of Wales is compatible with AMHS terminals as the dock used in Hollis was originally AMHS's terminal and the Ketchikan dock is actually the same berth that the Lituya uses.
The PoW is similar to the LeConte in capacity just slightly smaller. I think there may be some benefit to having a more modern vessel in the fleet that could serve the feeder routes the LeConte class does.
However adding another ship to the fleet will increase operating costs, but Senator Kookesh is not wrong in that having another vessel capable of serving the smaller communities would be useful. Of course they have rebuilt the Angoon dock to allow the fast ferries to dock there.
I think it's worth looking into, I can see some advantages as well as some drawbacks.
One in particular is that the smaller ships in the fleet are generally younger and meet SOLAS. It's the some of the larger ships in the fleet that really need to be looked at for replacement. The Alaska Class are a better fit for future plans, and there is the possibility that purchasing a ferry may make the Government more reluctant to fund the Alaska Class construction.
Post by Name Omitted on Jan 26, 2012 14:46:14 GMT -8
You know, when Elliot Bay Design Group did a study of feeder ferry options on 2009, (dot.alaska.gov/sereg/projects/satp/assets/EBDGShuttleStudy011810.pdf) they recommended an IFA style ferry for the Ketchikan-Prince Rupert run, and an Aurora class vessel for the Lynn Canal. I wounder if they would make the same accommodation now the rather larger Alaska Class vessel is on the table (although the scope of this study was 4 smaller known and proven ferry designs).
Another interesting thing hidden in this study is a chart of annual costs to run the various vessels.
My issue is not that I don't think the AMHS should take the POW necessarily, I love the idea of having a spare Jones Act feeder. It's just that I am tired of the idea coming from legislators, instead of the procurement team at the AMHS. My suspicion is that if AMHS had a use for the vessel, considering how long she has been laid up, AMHS would have approached IFA.
Speaking of which, does anyone know why AMHS works with Allen Marine for relief service instead of the IFA?
Speaking of which, does anyone know why AMHS works with Allen Marine for relief service instead of the IFA?
Many have wondered this, typically the wonderings come around September or October when LeConte usually goes into overhaul.
I think it is mostly to do with cost, I believe that Allen Marine asks a lower per sailing price than the IFA.
The IFA would also have to look at crew logistics as the temporary service would be based out of Juneau. An IFA crew would need overnight housing as neither the Prince of Wales or the Stikine have overnight crew accommodations.
On the topic of purchasing the Prince of Wales, the above study by Elliot Bay makes several interesting points, but one that caught my eye was:
"It should be noted that the Inter-Island Ferry Authority faced these same issues when they designed and built their first vessel. Since they had a very restricted capital budget, they were not able to invest in "top of the line" equipment and materials. The vessel's structure was designed to meet the ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels of Under 90m in Length so the scantlings are adequate if the coating systems are maintained. Some of the piping systems use steel pipe in lieu of copper-nickel (Cu-Ni) so they may require replacement in 25 years. There is no reason why the IFA vessels, with proper maintenance and periodic upgrades, cannot achieve a service life of 50 plus years."
While the POW is a well built vessel, the question of what proper maintenance would involve and importantly cost?
I also was surprised to see the POW only rates for a Sea State 2.3 while the Lituya rates 3.1, the Bartlett 3.9, and the Aurora 5.
Southeast’s Inter-Island Ferry Authority will soon be short on cash.
The authority sails between Prince of Wales Island and Ketchikan. Officials say what’s known as the IFA has only about four-fifths of the money it needs for the next budget year, which begins in July. General Manager Dennis Watson says that’s because the authority did not get an appropriation from the Legislature.
“Generally, in one form or another, we get some assistance from them every year. It’s a very important part of our operation. But the request was not granted. So it left us short and we are scrambling right now to try to identify alternative funding sources,” he says.
The Hollis-based IFA ferry Stikine sails daily, year-round, except for some holidays. It’s a nonprofit operation separate from the Alaska Marine Highway System. (Read more about the IFA.)
Watson, who is also mayor of Craig, says the authority looked at dropping one of its two crews and reducing service to four days a week. But it’s locked into personnel costs it would still have to pay. And dropping sailings would lower revenue and hurt Prince of Wales communities dependent on the ferry.
“We have people who actually have businesses that are built around us operating. We have a large fish-receiving plant out here in Craig and they use our service 100 percent. And if we don’t operate seven days a week, there are a lot of people who suffer because of it,” he says.
Watson says running the system costs about $4 million a year. Three-quarters of that comes from passenger and vehicle fares. The federal government also chips in. That leaves a three-quarter-million-dollar gap, which the Legislature usually fills.
“We are working with the staff of the federal delegation to see if we can identify federal sources to help us with this,” he says.
Watson says raising rates won’t work either. Past experience shows ridership drops when ticket prices are much higher than they are now.
The Inter-Island Ferry Authority has a second ship, the Prince of Wales, which is tied up except for when the Stikine is in for maintenance. Officials have considered selling it, to raise some revenue and cut docking and insurance costs.
But Watson says it’s needed as a backup vessel in times of emergency.
“Last year we swallowed two valves in one of our main (engines) in our primary vessel. And by that evening we had them swapped out and the people who were waiting in town, we got them over to Prince of Wales. Had we not had that vessel, things like that would have not been able to happen,” he says.
The IFA bought a second ship to sail a northern route between Coffman Cove, Wrangell and Petersburg. But ridership was low, and the sailings were dropped. The separate North End Ferry Authority plans to resurrect that route soon.
Meanwhile, there’s no threat of an immediate shutdown, because the IFA has financial reserves that can take it through early next year. But draining those would leave the system vulnerable to future shortfalls.
I found the news story the EGFleet posted above rather baffling, because it left out answers to some key questions. I haven't been able to find any other reports on this issue.
Why would the state refuse to subsidize a service that they have been funding up until now? And why does the IFA seem resigned to being turned down? Did the state not inform the company as to how their request was unacceptable- as compared to previous years? The story doesn't address those questions.
The IFA covers 75% of its costs from the farebox, and with the feds chipping in some, that means the state is on the hook for about the same percentage of costs that the province of British Columbia covers for BC Ferries' operations. I think the rate of subsidy for AMHS is much higher.
Looking up the various communities on Prince of Wales Island, it looks like there might be a total population of four thousand or so. The IFA says they can carry on service for now from their reserves, but how does the State of Alaska expect communities to maintain connection with the 'outside', without a subsidized ferry service? Is AMHS planning on taking over?