Monday, December 19, 2011

Ferry Kalakala Sold to Investor for One Dollar

From the Seattle PI:

The adventures of the art-deco ferry Kalakala have taken another twist with the announced sale of the ferry.

Kalakala owner Steve Rodrigues posted a note on the ferry's website Sunday stating the boat was sold to an anonymous bidder for $1.

"There are specific moments of time that you cross the path of the right person with the right heart and soul and this person is the one," Rodrigues said.

While the investors wish to remain anonymous, Rodrigues said they are maritime-related company that has experience in renovating historical ships and have promised to restore the ferry to its original condition.

"He has given me his promise, he has embraced this vessel's history; it's rich future," Rodrigues said.
That future is to make her sea-worthy once again so she can sail from a permanent home-port and take passengers on cruises with food, drink and music. The first step will be to spend the next six months to repair the hull so it can be towed to a shipyard where the renovation will begin.

Rodrigues says the restoration is supposed to be finished sometime in about the next two to three years. He'll stay with the project and says he retains the authority to choose the Kalakala's home-port -- hopefully Seattle, he says, but other cities like San Francisco and San Diego will be  considered.

Monday is the deadline set by the Coast Guard for the vessel's thin and brittle hull to be improved and for a mooring and towing plan for the ferry.

It has to move from its location in Tacoma. The Coast Guard says the ferry is being evicted. Rodrigues has disputed that the boat is being evicted but acknowledges that it must be moved.

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