From a purchased photo, here's the ILLAHEE as LAKE TAHOE in San Francisco. The West Coast's first successful propeller driven 279-foot ferry BERKELEY of 1898 is seen astern of the 1927 256-foot Steel Electric.
Just got another photo of the ILLAHEE. This one shows her in the dock at Sidney BC in the late 1950s. In most likely her last summer as being a 66-foot wide ferry. In 1958, she would be taken in for "surgery" to elevate her superstructure for taller vehicles and widened to nearly 74 feet with new steel railings and reconfigured steering guides.
As you can see, her makeshift aft mast (with its aft masthead light) was in the raised position. The forward masthead light was on the flag mast behind the Captain's stateroom. The stern light was mounted above the observatory windows at the other end. The aft mast would be lowered when south of the San Juans and the Inland Rules white lights, one above each wheelhouse, would be turned on at night. Only then the red and green lights would indicate the direction the ferries would be going.
Some 1958 WSF historical footage of a ferry from Sidney
I will park this here, and then move it when the ship is identified.
starts at 4:12 mark
(Chinook and Kahloke at beginning of the video)
This was the ILLAHEE. This was the only Steel Electric ferry in the San Juans to have a fully enclosed midships lounge then. The KLICKITAT and NISQUALLY had their original midships shelter (around the fiddly) partly enclosed during that time. I don't think the QUINAULT ventured up there then as she was not fitted with makeshift international rules navigation lights like the other three had (until her 1987 rebuild).
The ILLAHEE had green and white flag masts.
This was shown before the ILLAHEE was widened and had her vehicle deck clearance raised to 13'10" from 11'4".
These show the original interiors of these ferries. The dining room had a smaller counter then before being expanded by either Black Ball or WSF. The view inside the ILLAHEE's observatory shows a thin strip of stained wood. It would be later when a thicker one would be installed. It also shows the roller door to protect the fancy machines of yesteryear from sea spray.
An error in a caption shows these were all-steel. Their hulls, car deck superstructures, fiddly, funnel, and ventilator cowls were steel. The decks were wood as well as the cabins and wheelhouses.
Very lucky these historic brochures are still around!
Does anyone out there have a hull view of one of the Steel Electic's in dry-dock, before the 1950's renovations? I have several of the post renovation dry-dock views, but no the early ones. I would like one or two where the photo was taken looking toward one of the propellors, so I can get an idea of the hull's width's cross section.
From looking at the post widening photos, it appears that not all the widenings were the same, the Illahee widening looks different from that of the Quinalt.
Your assistance please. I have gotten myself appointed to the official, Whatcom County, Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee and am looking at every "smaller" ferry hull design I can find. The renovated Steel Electric's had some of the most efficient and seaworthy hulls in the area.
Post by pacificnorthwestspotter on Dec 12, 2019 7:32:46 GMT -8
I hope this Isn't inappropriate for the forum but its on my mind ive Not ridden on a state ferry but seeing videos and pics of the steel electrics brings tears to my eyes i love these ships but it just seems that ferry fans like me and all of you guys only say nice things about ferries before they're retired much like how people gather together to say great things about someone once They've Died i no offence but i just had toy say what my hearts been begging me to say here ever since ive been a member
I am born and raised in Victoria i love the spaudling classics and i proud to have autism