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San Juan Archipelago, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 650, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

10 April 2016

❖ M. V. KITSAP ❖

Built Houghton, WA.

Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

"The KITSAP was a double end auto ferry constructed in 1925 for the Kitsap County Transportation Co. She was 158.9-ft long and fitted with a 600 HP Washington Estep Diesel engine by the Lake Washington Shipyard in Houghton, WA. This vessel was first placed in service on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Harper route. She was designed to be an auto ferry, where many of the other vessels operating in the auto trade were made over former passenger vessels. Most of these vessels had a bow and stern; whereas, the KITSAP could run in either direction and had a pilot house on each end.
      She operated for many years on the Suquamish-Ballard fun, docking in Ballard where Ray's Boat House now stands. This run gave the north end of Kitsap peninsula a direct auto connection to Seattle. Prior to establishment of this run the nearest crossing was Bremerton to Seattle.
      In 1936 the Kitsap County Transportation Co sold out to the Puget Sound Navigation Co, who continued operating her. Later, [1951] the Washington State Transportation Department took over the running of the ferry system. The KITSAP continued on many of the lighter traffic runs including the San Juan Islands runs and Tacoma to the south end of Vashon Island.
      In 1962, the KITSAP was sold to the Oregon Highway Commission for the Astoria-Meglar run. After the construction of the bridge was completed, the KITSAP was sold to an Alaska cannery and it remained there on the beach. The level deck for cars with a full engine room below proved excellent to movable canneries in AK. This vessel was constructed of Douglas fir and gave many years of good service."
Above text from: About the Boats by Captain Ed Shields. Poulsbo, 1944.     
      Boatbuilder, Charlie Taylor, who worked for Lake Wa. Shipyard for many years, had the contract to lead the building of  the KITSAP, the BAINBRIDGE, and their big sister, the VASHON, the latter being the largest of all, launched in 1930. 

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