Sold ‘baby’ ferry passes through Ballard Locks

Hiyu, the smallest ferry in the Washington State Ferries fleet, officially changed hands on Wednesday and was towed through Ballard Locks en route from Eagle Harbor to Lake Union.

According to KOMO News, the vessel was bought by Menagerie Inc. for $150,000 who have plans to turn it into a floating entertainment venue.

The Hiyu is the smallest of the fleet coming in at only 162-feet-long. According to KOMO, Hiyu was used from 1967 until 2016, but its small size, high maintenance costs and lack of accommodations for passengers resulted in the suspension of its use.


The Hiyu served several different routes, including the Point Defiance/Tahlequah and San Juan Islands inter-island routes. After being put in storage in the late 1990s for over a decade, the vessel served as a relief vessel in recent years.

“Baby” Hiyu made its way through the Ballard Locks at about 3:30 pm (see pictures above) on its way to its new home on Lake Union.

Photos courtesy of US Army Corps of Engineers. 

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