Seattle-Bremerton ferry route down to 1 boat after breakdown

The Seattle-Bremerton ferry route will be down to one-boat service starting Tuesday.

Washington State Ferries said the route will operate using the No. 2 M/V Chimacum after a steering system failure on the No. 1 M/V Salish on Sunday. WSF said only the No. 2 ferry sailings will operate while the M/V Salish is out of service.

Passengers should plan ahead and give themselves extra travel time as there will likely be travel delays during peak times. The M/V Salish is expected to return to service later this week.

"Thank you for your patience while we work to maintain our fleet," WSF said in a travel alert bulletin. "Crews will work as quickly and safely as possible to repair the boat and return the route back to full service."

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Almost every ferry route was already down boats or using smaller vessels after an engine fire on the M/V Wenatchee in April caused WSF to shuffle boats around.

Twenty-one boats comprise the Washington ferries system, the largest in the United States. But a decade without new craft has left WSF with thin operating margins, especially with a large Jumbo Mark II class ferry like the Wenatchee down for what will likely be months.

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