By Mark Edward Nero
The 63-year-old Evergreen State, believed to be the oldest ferry in Washington state, has been sold. The vessel was bought by Jones Broadcasting LLC for $300,000, previous owner Washington State Ferries said March 1.
The Evergreen State is one of two state ferries that WSF put up for sale in 2016 and were sold this year. The ferry Hiyu was sold in February to a local business owner who intends to use it as a floating entertainment venue on Lake Union.
According to WSF, which is a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, the new owners of Evergreen State have said they plan to use the vessel for active ferry service in the southern Caribbean.
Plans are to move the Evergreen State from Washington State Ferries’ Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility on Bainbridge Island to a temporary Puget Sound moorage later this month. The new owner would then tow the vessel from the Pacific Northwest to Grenada, when the weather improves, likely in early summer.
The 87-car Evergreen State, which has World War II surplus drive motors, carried tens of thousands of passengers and vehicles in Washington State. It was the first of the three Evergreen State-class ferries and served on several routes including Seattle/Bainbridge and the San Juan Islands Interisland routes. It was decommissioned last year.
“The Evergreen State is a special ferry,” WSF Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa said. “It was the first vessel custom built for Washington State Ferries in 1954. She served our customers well for six decades, but it is important that she is sold so we can free up dock space and focus maintenance on our current fleet.”