Kitsap Transit has purchased the M/V Solano, a 125-foot power catamaran from the Bay Area, for approximately $1 million. (Kitsap Transit photo)

Kitsap Transit has purchased the M/V Solano, a 125-foot power catamaran from the Bay Area, for approximately $1 million. (Kitsap Transit photo)

Kitsap Transit picks up Bay Area fast ferry for a bargain price

M/V Solano purchased for approximately $1 million, well under its list price of $4 million

PORT ORCHARD — M/V Solano, a 125-foot power catamaran purchased last Friday by Kitsap Transit from the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), could possibly ply the high-speed passenger-only ferry route between downtown Seattle and Southworth.

According to Kitsap Transit, M/V Solano, which can travel at 32.5 knots with a full load, was purchased for approximately $1 million from the California ferry operator and will soon be added to Kitsap Transit’s passenger-only fleet.

The purchase price was a comparative bargain. WETA had listed Solano for sale through a broker for more than $4 million, but the COVID-19 pandemic weakened the market for used vessels, Kitsap Transit said. The agency said in a news release that the sale includes spare parts valued at approximately $2 million as part of the purchase price.

“This is a great opportunity for us to expand the fleet but also to provide a greater level of reliability to our community in the form of a first-class spare vessel,” said John Clauson, Kitsap Transit’s executive director.

Clauson said his agency plans to have Solano transported from Mare Island, California, to Bremerton and then to a dry dock in the Puget Sound region for re-branding, new upholstery and replacement of worn parts.

Kitsap Transit also will explore the feasibility of modifying the vessel to load passengers from the vessel’s bow. As a bow-loading vessel, Solano could potentially serve as a spare on Kitsap Transit’s planned Southworth-Seattle route, which is expected to begin later this year.

Solano entered service in the Bay Area in 2004, operating on the City of Vallejo’s BayLink service until ferry operations were transitioned to WETA and rebranded as San Francisco Bay Ferry.

More in News

.
Juneteenth steps toward state holiday status

Marks the day many slaves learned they were free

A conceptual rendering of the Poulsbo Event and Recreation Center shows the large event space and athletic field. City officials estimate the cost of the facility at $40 million. Photo courtesy City of Poulsbo.
Survey says… Poulsbo wants the PERC

Survey says … there’s near unanimous support and demand for the Poulsbo… Continue reading

Poulsbo’s Slippery Pig is open but like many of the restaurants and pubs in Poulsbo does not open until late afternoon, though that may change as restrictions loosen over the coming months. (Ken Park/Kitsap Daily News photos)
Phase 2: Customers come in out of the cold

Kitsap County moving to Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan… Continue reading

.
12 new cases of COVID confirmed in Kitsap

Kitsap is now under a “high level” of coronavirus activity, per state guidelines

.
City Council gets a preview of planned Ruby Creek Park Ride

Land acquisition nearing transit board approval

.
Work to begin on Old Clifton Road improvements

Design work completed for new roundabout

.
Agate Pass Bridge work finishes two days early

Lane closures scheduled for Thursday and Friday have been canceled

.
High schoolers to transition to SK Flex on March 15

South Kitsap High’s principal sends a communication to families Tuesday

.
Kitsap Transit picks up Bay Area fast ferry for a bargain price

M/V Solano purchased for approximately $1 million, well under its list price of $4 million

Most Read