20 December 2011

Former ferry Kalakala sold for $1; deal includes promise to restore vessel:

In a March 24, 2011, photo, the 276-foot Kalakala lists in its mooring on the Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma
TACOMAThe Kalakala has been sold for $1.

“The Kalakala will be saved from the scrap yard and restored to her full glory,” said owner Steve Rodrigues on his website, www.kalakala.org.

Rodrigues said the anonymous buyer promises to restore the rusty vessel, which plied the Port Angeles-Victoria route from 1954 to 1959 as a sleek silver, art deco ferry, and was retired from Puget Sound in 1967.

No other details about the plans were posted.

Rodrigues, a Tumwater developer, bought the 276-foot
Kalakala in hope of making it into an attraction.

It has been moored in Tacoma's Hylebos Waterway since 2004.

Faced with a deadline to move the rusty hulk or face a daily fine, Rodrigues earlier this month offered the historical vessel for just $1, if the buyer would immediately come up with $1 million to move and help restore the Kalakala and not sell it for scrap.

The Kalakala was built in 1935 on the hull of a burned San Francisco ferry.

After its ferry days, the Kalakala became a fish processing ship in Alaska.

It was towed back to Seattle's Lake Union in 1998.

Rodrigues bought the Kalakala in 2003 and created a foundation for its restoration.

The Kalakala Foundation had an office in Port Angeles for a short time, but Rodrigues could find little support to provide it a home.

After he promised jobs for partial restoration, the Makah tribe allowed him to tow it to Neah Bay.

But the failure to provide those jobs while the hull pounded and damaged a pier caused Rodrigues to find another location — the Hylebos Waterway — to store the faded ferry.

The Coast Guard is among the principal agencies that was pressuring Rodrigues to fix or move the vessel.

It listed at about a 30-degree angle last summer, but Rodrigues had the hull plugged and righted the vessel.

But his lease has ended, and he was to be held responsible for $32,000 in daily fines unless he moved the Kalakala out of the Hylebos.

Source: Peninsula Daily News. 20 December 2011

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