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

Downtown Port Orchard. Courtesy Photo
Funding advances for Port Orchard downtown revitalization

The House Appropriations Committee has advanced new funding championed by U.S. Rep.… Continue reading

Suquamish Councilmember Sammy Mabe speaks during the tribe's joint meeting with the city of Poulsbo. Courtesy Photos
Poulsbo, Suquamish officials meet for 1st time since 2020

Tribe suspended relationship following fatal shooting

Applesauce from South Kitsap High lunchroom
Changes in free summer lunch program upset some

A popular food program is making its return to the South Kitsap… Continue reading

Motorcyclists weave through each other during a pre-parade demonstration. Elisha Meyer/Port Orchard Independent Photos
Fathoms parade winners announced

The annual Fathoms O’ Fun Festival returned to the streets of Port… Continue reading

Consumer fireworks are now for sale across Kitsap County, with the exception of Bainbridge Island. (File photo)
It’s official: Fireworks season has begun

Sales started Tuesday; consumer fireworks can only be discharged on Fourth of July

.
Vote for the Best of Central Kitsap

It’s time again to vote for the Best of Central Kitsap! Now… Continue reading

.
Vote for the Best of North Kitsap

It’s time again to vote for the Best of North Kitsap! Now… Continue reading

.
Vote for the Best of South Kitsap

It’s time again to vote for the Best of South Kitsap! Now… Continue reading

Most Read