LUMMI ISLAND, Wash. — Officials with Whatcom County Public Works Ferry Division announced today, February 22nd, they have scheduled an earlier annual drydock for the Whatcom Chief this year. The Whatcom Chief’s 2022 dry dock outage will be May 6th through the 21st.
Each year the Whatcom Chief spends 2 to 3 weeks in dry dock to undergo annual maintenance. In recent years, this has been scheduled during the latter half of September.
While in dry dock, the vehicle ferry is replaced with a passenger-only ferry.
This year the vessel will have a spring dry dock outage for approximately 2 weeks. Mandated repairs were cited by the US Coast Guard at the end of the fall 2021 dry dock period. Completing this work when it was first cited would have likely caused a significant delay in the vessel’s return to service. Completing this work in the spring ensures proper planning and materials acquisition.Whatcom County Public Works Ferry Division (February 22, 2022)
Officials added that comparisons between this spring’s and past fall drydock impacts will be made to learn if 1 is a better choice in the future. Impacts that will be considered include the following.
- Vehicle parking availability
- Passenger ferry down time due to inclement weather (disruption to emergency response, commerce, and education)
- Ridership and farebox recovery
- Shipyard availability
The Whatcom County Ferry Division’s dry dock webpage will be updated as more information becomes available.