More than a year ago, Kaleetan was not much more than a shell of a ferry; its interior completely stripped down to the bone as part of a massive stem-to-stern overhaul. This work was performed at the Lake Union Dry Dock, where dozens of workers were busy cutting, sanding and dismantling the 30-year-old Super Class ferry in a project to show being 30 doesn't mean being "over the hill."
Now, some 14 months later, Kaleetan has emerged as a completely renewed figure, shiny and sleek again, both inside and out. After some final touch-up projects are completed at Todd Shipyard, the ferry will be ready to return to service on Puget Sound
. It will be assigned to the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route.
The work was formally called an "asbestos abatement" project, and getting rid of those hazardous materials in all the passenger areas and elsewhere was an important part of the overhaul. But much more was involved.
The ferry's four diesel engines, its main generators and other drive-motor equipment were removed and sent to various manufacturers for complete rebuilding. Most of the original piping systems were replaced. New steering equipment was installed, and a new, more powerful emergency generator was added to provide adequate power in case of an outage.
Also, a shelter was added on the main car deck to provide protection for people in wheelchairs and others. And there's new paint throughout the vessel, along with new anti-slip surfaces on the car decks.