Radio Call Letters: WH7219 Official Number: 224839 Built: Seattle, 1925, rebuilt 1947 Length: 150' 7" Beam: 55' 1"
Draft: 10' 6" Auto Deck Clearance: 11' Speed: 10 knots Horsepower: 1,200 Propulsion: Diesel Autos: 30 Passengers: 300 Gross Tonnage: 466
Name Translation: taken from her builder, Captain Crosby.
FINAL DISPOSITION: Broken up about 1977.
The Crosline in the 1930's. Courtesy of Captain Raymond W Hughes collection.
The Crosline was launched on 22 June 1925 for the Crosby Direct Line Ferries
from the Marine Construction Company on the Duwamish River in Seattle. She
was built to make the run between Manchester on the Kitsap Peninsula and Alki
Point in West Seattle. Carrying 65 cars, the little single-ended ferry could make
the run in 25 minutes with her Seattle-built Sumner diesel providing the power.
In 1926, scarcely a year after going into service and as somewhat of a surprise to
the people of the Crosby Direct Line Ferries, the company merged with Puget
Sound Navigation. Owner Captain Harry W. Crosby remained in charge,
however, and the merger didn't affect the Crosline, which remained on the
Manchester-Alki route until 1935, when the Alki dock was destroyed by a storm.
She stayed on the Manchester route, now running to Colman Dock, until 1940,
with the exception of two summer seasons in the San Juan Islands in 1939 an
and 1940 when she assisted the Rosario.
With enough ferries to spare, PSN sold the Crosline in 1942 to Canadian
interests. They sailed the ferry on the North Vancouver run during WWII,
converting her into a passenger only vessel for the shipyard workers. After the
war, the Crosline was no longer needed.
The Washington State Department of Highways, having made a contract with
Washington Navigation to keep ferries running from the Kitsap Peninsula to
Tacoma after the Narrows bridge collapsed, needed another vessel. They
purchased the Crosline in 1947 and sent her into the Lake Union Drydock
company for an extensive rebuild.
Refitted with Cooper-Bessener diesels, the Crosline also emerged from the
rebuild as a double-ended ferry. A second wheel house was built, and in this
capacity she could off load and load cars more efficiently. She went to work on
the Narrows route, but was moved in February 1949 to the Fauntleroy-Vashon
route to take over for the old ferry Lincoln.
After the State took over ferry operations in 1951, the Crosline became a part of
the new WSF fleet. The State moved the ferry to Hood Canal in June of 1952,
working only weekends, which she did until 1961 when the bridge was built.
Becoming part of the reserve fleet, she worked only the summers of 1962, '63
and '64 on the Mukilteo-Clinton route as the "extra" boat. For 1965, '66 and
1967 the little Crosline worked Sundays only on the Vashon-Fauntleroy run. Her
last trip was the 9:55 p.m. departure on Labor Day of 1967.
The ferry system sold her on December 19th of the same year. She was first
used as a warehouse on Lake Union. Sold again in 1975, she was moved to
Coos Bay, Oregon to be used as a restaurant. The venture fell through, and
instead her superstructure was removed to become a shore-based warehouse.
Her hull was eventually disassembled, the remaining timbers and planks of the
Crosline became part of a fishing boat and a dock.
An email sent to the author in 2007 indicated that the dock and warehouse that
had been built out of the Crosline had since been torn down. It is unknown if the
fishing boat made from her timbers or is still afloat.
|At top,the interior of the Crosline was strictly no frills, but not uncomfortable. Courtesy of
Tom Sanislo. Above, moored in Coo's Bay just after her trip down the coast on June 13,
1975. Author's collection.
|Elusive, forgotten, unphotographed...
Though the Crosline had a long career on Puget Sound, photographs of her
taken after 1951 when she became part of the Washington State Ferry fleet are
practically non-existent. When inquiring with MOHAI as to whether anything in
the Williamson Collection showed the ferry in WSF livery, the answer was "no."
The print above is one of the few I've ever seen of her in WSF livery. Another
can be found in The Ferry Story by Michael Skalley, and Exploring the Olympic
Peninsula, the 1967 edition by Ruth Kirk, which is where the photo at left comes
It's possible that the little Crosline wasn't photographed due to its limited use by
Washington State Ferries. Until the bridge opened, the ferry was a "weekend
only" boat on Hood Canal" and through the 60's she only ever worked
If anyone has a good photo of the Crosline, in WSF livery, please feel free to
Email me and I'll be happy to replace the header on this page.