Aberdeen,WA - The Lady Washington, the Official Ship of the State of Washington, has returned to service after replacing its diesel auxiliary engine with a new engine that reduces the ship’s carbon footprint. The ship will begin its spring and summer season of visits to ports in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound after the US Coast Guard gives final approval to the upgrade, which is expected next week. The Historical Seaport is also inviting local schools to book education programs before Lady Washington departs.
Lady Washington was taken out of service in December 2009. The original Detroit Diesel 8V-71, installed when the ship was launched in 1989, was removed. A new Scania 12-liter diesel engine and ZF marine transmission was installed in February and tested earlier this month. The new engine meets strict California, federal, and international emissions standards, allowing Lady Washington to return to California ports. The reduced emissions and increased fuel efficiency of the new engine decreases the vessel’s carbon footprint, meeting the Historical Seaport’s goal of operating in a “green” fashion whenever possible.
The project was financed by the Historical Seaport’s SAILING GREEN capital campaign, which has brought in more than $100,000 in donations and grants. Major donors include Ken Birdwell, the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, Ed Scripps, Dr. Price and Barbara Chenault, the Cottrell family, the Google Matching Fund, and the Washington State Department of Ecology Clean Diesel Program. Most donors gave small amounts ranging from a few dollars given at a January 9 work party in Aberdeen to $500. The Historical Seaport would also like to specifically thank Precision Pipe Fabricators, Bergstrom Foundry, Fastenal, Harbor Tool Rentals, Sierra Pacific Industries, Westport Diesel, Crowley Marine, Grays Harbor Computer, as well as volunteers Dick “Tinker” Toy, Jim Rich, Bill Hagara, and many others for time, materials, and equipment.
The Lady Washington will now prepare for its spring and summer schedule of visits to Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound ports. The vessel will join its companion ship Hawaiian Chieftain when the latter vessel arrives at Westport on April 9. After a schedule of public visits and three-hour sails, the pair will depart for Port Angeles on April 12. The current list of stops includes Sequim, Port Towsend, Friday Harbor, Seattle, Anacortes, Bellingham, Coupeville, Everett, Edmonds, and Port Orchard. A detailed schedule and ticketing information is available at the Historical Seaport website, www.historicalseaport.org.