|Photographer:||Kyle Stubbs [View profile]||Title:||KALAKALA||Added:||Jul 09, 2012|
|Captured:||July 07, 2012||IMO:||Unavailable||Hits:||1,547|
|Location:||Tacoma, United States|
||Wrecks & Relics|
|Originally launched as the San Francisco Bay ferry PERALTA in 1926, she burned as the result of arson in 1933. Though her superstructure was a total loss, the hull was still sound, and was sold to the Puget Sound Navigation Company (PSNC), or Black Ball Line, to be rebuilt. What emerged from the Lake Washington Shipyards in 1934 bearing the name KALAKALA (supposedly a Chinook word meaning "bird") was a unique, streamlined, art deco ferry. While mostly steel, the bridge and wheelhouse were constructed of copper to avoid interference with the ship's compass. She would make history in 1946 with FCC license #001 for the first commercial radar suite. Known for an odd vibration that was eventually cured with a new propellor, and for several other ungainly characteristics, she gained such nicknames as "The Silver Slug," "Galloping Ghost of the Pacific Coast," and "Kackerlacka."
After many years of service, though still distinctive, she was outdated, resulting in her retirement and sale in 1967, when she headed to Alaska to become a processing vessel, eventually being landlocked near Kodiak in 1970.
In 1998, a team set out to save her, getting the old ferry successfully afloat and towed to Seattle. However, despite intentions, some good, and some questionable, restoration never progressed, and she moved from place to place around Puget Sound, eventually being designated a hazard to navigation by the US Coast Guard in 2011. Her likely fate is now scrapping, but even that may be difficult, as she is considered unsafe to tow.
Seen moored on the Hylebos Waterway in the Port of Tacoma.