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The Kalakala Shrugged

The famous retired ferry boat, the Kalakala, has been ingloriously lashed to the shores of the Hylebos for years. Plans for its restoration have been discussed at various times (as seen here in prior Exit133 coverage ), but nothing has come of them. Now, the vessel is taking on worrisome volumes of water and listing, according to this Tacoma News Tribune story.

The owner claims the situation will be under control soon. What’s next for the Kalakala? We hope the situation is not as dire as some are indicating…

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RR Anderson

If the Yamato can be converted into a space ship, so too can the Kalakala.

March 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Mick Klass

They say it’s going to cost millions to clean up if it sinks. (Public funds of course) Why not be proactive and spend the same millions to fix it and do something positive with it?

March 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Converting the Kalakala to a spacecraft would probably be easier than the Yamato – it’s halfway there already – but where are we supposed to get a Wave Motion Gun in this economy?

March 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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RR Anderson

damn it Jon, She’s a ferryboat not a warship!

March 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I say we should pump all the fuel outta the rust bucket and send it to the bottom of the narrows for an artificial reef for all the little fishys and octopuses/octopi.  Make sure to punch out all the windows first.

March 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Out of the estimated $14 million to repair the Kalakala, how much of that is to make her seaworthy? Water is hard to keep out of things, and given how she’s taking on water now, I bet the waterproofing makes up the majority of that cost. So isn’t the obvious solution to beach her? I know it isn’t ideal to permanently beach a historic boat, but it’s the realistic solution.

Seems like she could be a terrific, one-of-a-kind fish and chips joint, or funky diner, that could succeed on Ruston Way or the Foss. Just put her on a good foundation, spend a few million to reinforce her walls and ceiling, make the floors walkable, and polish up the metal, and you have something that can build a real reputation and become a destination eatery.

Or, if generating profit wasn’t a necessity, how about a sheltered playground? I don’t think there any playgrounds in Tacoma that are both sheltered and free, and we’re a rainy place, after all. Or think about the sheltered picnic area on Owen Beach … any other parks need something similar (but far cooler)?

March 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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RR Anderson

Send Art Chantry out there with a camera… he could get like 50 surf rock album covers out of this misfortune!

March 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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It would be a brilliant attraction if kids could ramble around it at Old Town Dock.  (I think there’s going to be an indoor playground at the new <span class=“caps”>SERA</span> community center, by the way.)  What would be key is putting it in a sufficiently public place to keep vandalism and illegal activity down, and making it lockable at night.

March 28, 2011 at 8:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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RR Anderson

Cannery ?

March 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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low bar

its like the whole county is turning into one big ass red neck front yard. you got shit strewn everywhere to one day git worked on or taken to the dump

March 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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low bar

i kinda like it

March 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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@10: turning into?  Been that way for decades.

March 29, 2011 at 3:51 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Let’s just dump in the middle of Tollefson square and let kids play on it!

March 29, 2011 at 10:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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kenneth Koleber

I forget the name of the popular resturant that used to be down on Ruston Way that was built like a boat and burned many years ago. This would appear to be a great use for the ferry, a resturant and banquet facility that could also be decorated to display the marine history of Puget Sound. Put it up on cement piers, remove all unnecessary equipment and polish all that aluminum and even Seattle would be sorry they let this piece of history escape.

March 31, 2011 at 2:03 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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I really like the idea of turning it into a restaurant or museum.  Or Hell, convert it into a playground or play museum.

March 31, 2011 at 2:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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seamus o'hooligan

I attended a production of Chekov’s The Seagull on the Kalakala in 1991 when it was moored in Lake Union. The rusty decrepit hulk was the perfect place for that play. Seattle was smart enough to get rid of the hulk soon after and now 20 years later it’s our problem. The old ferryhulk needs to go or the owner needs to be made responsible, one or the other. Otherwise we pay for his and our folly.

March 31, 2011 at 10:28 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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