Washington State Ferries (WSF) announced that the regular vessel on the Point Defiance-Tahlequah route, the Rhododendron, will be out of service until mid-September for repair. WSF had hoped to have the vessel back in service this week, but has since learned that repairs will take longer than expected. The 34-car Hiyu, the smallest ferry in the fleet, is operating on the Point Defiance-Tahlequah route in the meantime.
Because the Hiyu carries fewer vehicles than the Rhododendron, travelers are encouraged to avoid peak periods or use other ferry routes
if they have to travel to Vashon Island.
Route information, including wait times, will be updated regularly on the WSF website at: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/
The 60 year-old Rhododendron is at Foss Shipyard in Seattle for repairs to the rub rail approximately four feet above the waterline.
Built in 1947 in Baltimore, Maryland, the Rhododendron is the only vessel of its class in the WSF fleet. It operates year-round on the Point Defiance-Tahlequah route from Tacoma to the south end of Vashon Island.