The Evergreen State was extensively rebuilt in 1988. The
decision to plate over the much-vexing texas deck turned out to
be a problematic solution. Most alarmingly, it made the
Evergreen State top-heavy. To rectify the problem, WSF was
forced to remove all "non-essential" weight--which meant the
false ceiling in the passenger cabin. What remains are the
bare wires, cords and plumbing.
A few years later, in order to comply with SOLAS (Safety Of Life
At Sea) regulations to travel the international route between
Anacortes, Washington, and Sidney, British Columbia, she had
additional fire doors, storage lockers, life rafts and a very
visible sprinkler system grafted in.
The Evergreen State served the Anacortes-Sidney run less and
less in later years, relieving the Elwha. Nearing retirement age,
WSF looked in the fleet to SOLAS another boat. The Evergreen
State made her last trip to Sidney, B.C. on 2 May 2003. Her
replacement on the route, the Chelan, went into service in the
spring of 2006.
The ferry celebrated her 50th birthday in 2004 and was
mothballeda short time later. That status didn't last very
long--as problems with the Steel Electrics arose--the Evergreen
State was pressed into service more and more often.
The Steel Electric Class were suddenly withdrawn from service
on 13 December 2007, and the Evergreen State's status as
"mothballed" came to a sudden end. With the Illahee no longer
in service, the Evergreen took her place as the inter-island
vessel in the San Juan Islands.
With retirement age now mandated at 60 years, the Evergreen
State should have made her last trip on 29 June, 2014, ending
a long career. However, with the unexpected breakdown of the
Tacoma and the continuing maintenance needs of the fleet, the
"old reliable" Evergreen was put back in service and has
continued to be in service almost continually since her
While she is still active in the fleet, she is still on borrowed time.
She is scheduled to be retired (again) this summer...but as
history has sown us, we will just have to wait and see.
The interior of the Evergreen today. Note the lack of a false ceiling. Interior photos courtesy of Matt Masuoka.
Mouse over to see what the original interior looked like. Original interior photos courtesy of MOHAI.
Official Number: D268732 Call Sign: WTQ6960 Length: 310' Beam: 73' Horsepower: 2,500 Draft: 15' 10'' Auto Deck Clearance: 13' 3''
Speed in Knots: 13 Max Passengers: 875 Max Vehicles: 87 City Built: Seattle Year Built/Re-built: 1954 / 1988
Name Translation: Washington State nickname.
The Evergreen State on her "last day" in June 2014. The ferry was back in service mere weeks later--though to date she has not returned to the San Juan
Islands. Photo by Matt Masuoka.
|Usurping Black Ball...
Very early on, the fledging Washington State Ferries worked hard to distance itself from its predecessor.
Recent strikes, a perceived lack of care with the vessels (real or imagined) and a general distaste for the
final years the Puget Sound Navigation company ran the ferries made the state anxious to show that they
could do things better. Vessels were overhauled and painted in the now familiar green (as some tell it, on
that very first day, with the Chippewa still in service with a stack painted half red and half green as crews
worked to remove the Black Ball livery) and general improvements made to the fleet.
The Kalakala was still considered the flagship, but in most of the brochures and guides printed in the early
1950's, the WSF green stripe was grafted in to existing photographs. The message was clear: the
Evergreen Fleet was here to stay.
In further attempts to distance itself from Black Ball, and starting a trend that would continue well into the
60's, as soon as a new ferry was finished, it became the darling of all the publicity photographs and
brochures. With the arrival of the Evergreen State in 1954, the Kalakala rapidly disappeared from interior
photos and cover art while photographs or glossy representations of the Evergreen State appeared on
nearly all printed material.
The Evergreen State and her sisters reign as queen of publicity lasted until 1967, when the Super Class
appeared and bumped the Evergreens to second tier status. So anxious was WSF to get the Supers on
all materials that many schedules and brochures appeared with early photos of the Hyak and her
incorrectly high paint line on the hull were used.