Article about continuing problems with the 64-car ferries

The Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber has published an in-depth article about continuing problems and concerns with the new ferry Chetzemoka and its sister ships in the Kwa-di Tabil (nicknamed the “I-Lean”) class.

“A ferry engineer, meanwhile, has directly countered several of the state’s claims about the ferries. In his own August letter to Smith, Alex Zecha, chief engineer on the Salish, one of the Chetzemoka’s sister ships, criticized several aspects of the boats’ design as well as their poor fuel efficiency. He said the boats lean more than WSF expected and claims the state has already investigated how much it would cost to correct it.

“ ‘This is not a very commendable state of affairs, particularly considering the difficulties faced in recent state budgets,’ Zecha writes.

“The state auditor’s office also appears to be questioning the ferries’ design process. It is currently finishing a yearlong audit of the ferry construction program, with results to be published next month. In a brief issued last year, the office cited citizen and legislator concern as one reason for the audit and said the audit will determine ‘whether Washington taxpayers are getting the best value for their money.’

“Some also question the way the Chetzemoka performs on the water. Nelson, who rides the boat when she commutes to Olympia, said she, like many Islanders, has seen the boat make large sweeps as it crosses the short channel, and she’s concerned about why.

“The Kwa-di Tabil boats, ferry officials say, each have two powerful, 3,000-horsepower engines, which work well on the longer Port Townsend-Coupeville route. But on Vashon, the boat’s large engines have become a problem…”

Read the full article: Questions plague Vashon’s newest ferry

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