Full service will resume Friday on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route when the 64-car Chetzemoka returns to service for the noon sailing from Port Townsend. The vessel was pulled from service Tuesday so shipyard craftsmen could install a new keel cooler. “We met our goal to get the Chetzemoka back into service for the busy weekend,” said Assistant Secretary David Moseley. “It couldn’t have been accomplished without the hard work of ferry and shipyard employees. I also want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”
The Chetzemoka was towed on Tuesday to Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes for drydocking. The repairs were made Wednesday, and following successful testing of the keel cooler systems, the Chetzemoka was put back into the water late Thursday afternoon. The ferry will be towed to the Anacortes ferry terminal where it will meet its crew and then make its way to Port Townsend under its own power. On Aug. 9, the Chetzemoka was removed from service for the day due to a leaking keel cooler, a component attached to the vessel’s hull that cools fresh water from the diesel engines so cooling systems stay within designed temperatures. The U.S. Coast Guard approved a temporary fix and the Chetzemoka returned to service Aug. 10. A replacement keel cooler was manufactured and shipped from Wisconsin, arriving Thursday, Aug. 18. WSF is in the process of investigating what caused the keel cooler to develop a leak and should have more information in approximately two weeks.