Rhododendron might be given away, state officials say

The Rhododendron, a 48-car ferry that for de-cades served the south end of Vashon Island, still has no buyer — more than two months after it was put up for auction.

The boat, built in 1947, was the oldest ferry in the state’s fleet when it was retired a year ago. Valued at $750,000, it apparently had a buyer in late November, when an entity with the online handle “Kingstontown” offered $300,000 to purchase it, according to the State of Washington Surplus Operations website.

The sale, however, apparently fell through a few days later, according to Washington State Ferries, and the boat went back on the auction block.

David Moseley, the head of the state ferry system, reported in his weekly newsletter on Friday that he has yet to receive another offer, “so we continue to evaluate other options, including donation of the vessel to a local maritime engineering program.”

The boat’s U.S. Coast Guard certificate of inspection expired Jan. 24.


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