Guemes Island Ferry

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Guemes Island Ferry

County Engineer: Paul A. Randall-Grutter, P.E. Ferry Operations Manager: Rachel Rowe


2019 Guemes Ferry haul-out

Guemes Island Ferry is scheduled to be out of service February 24 through March 18, 2019, for a haul out and maintenance period and required US Coast Guard dry dock credit. Throughout the haul-out, we will provide regular updates on the progress.

Maintenance work on the ferry is being completed by Foss Shipyard in Seattle. In addition to routine maintenance, Foss will remove and replace an outdrive, transmissions, drivelines, propellers and emergency fire pumps. Crews will also completely remove and renew the car deck coating, and recoat the hull. Separate from this work, a marine surveyor will conduct an in-depth marine survey to include ultrasonic inspection of the vessel’s hull, car deck, framing and tanks. A marine engineer, marine surveyor and specialized inspection services will determine a maintenance plan for the remaining service life of the Guemes, as well as information about a vessel repower should the ferry replacement project be delayed for any reason.

March 22, 2019 haul-out update

Wonderful news: After successful sea trials, the Guemes departed Foss Shipyard at approximately 2 p.m., and is headed to Anacortes. She will be back in service Saturday, March 23, at 6:30 a.m. Skagit Transit shuttle service will continue tomorrow, March 23, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

March 21, 2019 haul-out update

As you know, crews pinpointed the source of the leak on Tuesday, March 19. Fixing the leak meant ordering several parts for the outdrive propeller and having them shipped to Foss as quickly as possible. The parts arrived this morning, March 21, and crews can now complete the repair and reassemble the propeller unit. Next, crews will fill the outdrive with oil, and then let it sit overnight to ensure that there are no more leaks. If everything goes well, the Guemes will go out for sea trials midday on Friday, March 22. If sea trials go well, the Guemes can begin the 8-hour voyage back to Anacortes. We'll keep you posted tomorrow.

March 19, 2019 haul-out update

The Guemes is back in drydock today, March 19, and crews were able to investigate the leak they noticed during sea trials on Saturday, March 16.

In order to pinpoint the specific source of the leak, the vessel had to sit in drydock overnight. It turns out that there is a very small leak in the lower prop seal. Even though it’s small, it needs to be fixed – and crews are doing that work as we speak. Our hope is to get the vessel back to Skagit County by this weekend.

The whole point of sea trials is to test-run the boat, correct any last-minute issues that arise, and make sure the vessel is seaworthy. We’re glad we found the leak when we did – when the vessel was still at Foss and able to be drydocked immediately for repairs. While we’re disappointed that we aren’t back in service on schedule, we don’t want this leak to overshadow the fact that the rest of the maintenance work and sea trials went extremely well.

March 17, 2019 haul-out update

The M/V Guemes went on sea trials yesterday afternoon, Saturday, Mar. 16, and unfortunately had to receive a tug assist back to the dock after being out only a few hours. A leak was discovered, and the only way to determine the cause is to go back on to the dry dock first thing Monday morning.  It takes several hours to get the vessel out of the water, so we will not know more until late Monday afternoon.

Guemes was scheduled to return to service Tuesday, Mar. 19; however, the return of the car ferry will definitely be delayed. At this time, we do not know exactly how long it will take to find and repair the leak.


March 15, 2019 haul-out update

Last night, Thursday, March 14, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted its final inspection of the vessel and issued the Guemes an updated certificate of inspection and dry dock credit. This morning, at 7:30 a.m., the vessel was taken in the dry dock back out to the ship canal. The shipyard sank the dry dock and launched the ferry. She is now pier-side, with several work items still to complete. The vessel is scheduled for fueling and dock/sea trials on Saturday, March 16. There is a fair amount of painting still left to do, and some above-deck steel repairs to finish up. 


We are still on track for the Guemes to return to service on time, at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 19. We will be working over the weekend to ensure we meet our schedule.

Want to track the Guemes so you know when she's headed home? You can do that by entering “Guemes” into the search bar at http://findship.co/ or at www.marinetraffic.com. You can also download the app for your phone, so you always know where your ferry is.

We will update you when Guemes leaves the shipyard and is on the way home. 

Or you can track its progress here.

March 13, 2019 haul-out update

The USCG was at the shipyard this morning for the third time to inspect the vessel’s ballast tanks and the fit-up of the new steel plating on the No. 2 end of car deck on. Welding began on the No. 2 end of the car deck steel as the rest of the new plating was rigged on to the No. 1 end. So far, we are progressing on schedule, and the car deck work has not impacted the return to service date. 

Brand-new outdrive bolts were installed on both outdrives and new zinc anodes were installed on both as well. The shipyard is starting to fill the outdrives with gear oil, then the plan is to fill the rest of the fluids (coolant, hydraulic oil, ballast water, etc.) over the next couple of days. 

March 12, 2019 haul-out update

Crews at Foss continued work on the M/V Guemes on Tuesday. Mechanic Bob Martin and Ferry Manager Rachel Rowe inspected work on the outdrives and the replacement of worn-out steel plating on the car deck. 

March 11, 2019 haul-out update

The Guemes remains on schedule to return to service on Tuesday, March 19, at 6:30 a.m. A lot of work has taken place in the last couple of weeks. The shipyard has been busy working two shifts per day and even weekends to keep our project on track. 

The car deck has been stripped down to bare metal and 95% of it has been re-coated. The steel plating under the apron slide areas exceeded what the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) allows for wear, so those areas have to be cut out and replaced. Cutting on that began today, March 11; the insert plates are expected to be welded in by Thursday afternoon, March 14, and coated shortly after. The underwater hull is also 95% re-coated.

Also this week, the transmissions and drivelines are scheduled for installation, and the emergency fire pumps will be installed as well. 

USCG has performed two inspections so far on the Guemes hull and voids (below-deck compartments). We anticipate a couple of more visits from them before we receive our dry dock credit and updated Certificate of Inspection, which is required in order for the vessel to re-enter service.

It’s all coming together!

Feb. 26, 2019 haul-out update

The M/V Guemes arrived safely at Foss Shipyard in Seattle this weekend, and on Monday, Feb. 25, was successfully hauled out into dry dock - a process that takes a lot longer than you may think. At 7 a.m., the shipyard floated the drydock into the ship canal and submerged it below the hull of the Guemes. A diver below the vessel made sure that the Guemes was properly positioned. Crews drained the water from the drydock, and then a tug navigated the drydock with the Guemes (now up on blocks) into the maintenance slip. By 2 p.m., the vessel was ready for maintenance work to begin.