SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

After Decades of Service, M/V Taku for Sale Through Sealed Bid


March 13, 2017
Monday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) announced Saturday it is selling the M/V Taku through a sealed bid sale. The minimum bid price is $1.5 million and interested bidders must have a bid bond of $5,000.

ADOT&PF is selling the vessel “As Is/Where Is” to the highest bidder. The vessel is currently at a mooring facility in Ward Cove in Ketchikan, Alaska.

The sale process involved getting Federal Highway Administration approval since federal funding was used to maintain the vessel over its lifespan.

jpg After Decades of Service, M/V Taku for Sale Through Sealed Bid

M/V Taku
Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Transportation

Last month, ADOT&PF initiated proceedings to transfer ownership of the M/V Taku by offering it to other state agencies or municipalities. No public entity expressed an interest in assuming ownership of the M/V Taku.

Interested bidders have 60 days to submit bids, inspect the vessel if desired, and arrange financing if necessary. Sealed bids must be submitted by 3:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time, on May 9, 2017. Again, the vessel is currently at a mooring facility in Ward Cove, approximately 6 miles north of Ketchikan. The complete bid package is available on the Alaska’s Online Public Notice website.

The M/V Taku was determined to be excess to the needs of the state for ferry vessels and outside the realm of what the state can afford to maintain and operate in passenger service with available funding. The vessel was constructed in 1963 and faithfully operated as a part of the Alaska Marine Highway System for over 50 years. The M/V Taku was taken out of service on June 23, 2015.

MV Taku is 352 feet long and 74 feet wide, with a domestic gross tonnage of 2,625 and a service speed of 16.5 knots. The MV Taku was designed to carry 350 passengers and has a vehicle capacity of 1,000 linear feet, which is equal to approximately 50 twenty-foot vehicles. There are 6 four-berth and 32 two-berth cabins, as well as 2 wheelchair-accessible cabins.

The MV Taku was named after the Taku Glacier, located in Southeast Alaska and named by the Tlingit Natives. The Taku Glacier is the deepest and thickest glacier known in the world and is the only advancing glacier in the Juneau Icefield.

The vessel was designed by Phillip F. Spaulding and Associates of Seattle, Washington and constructed at the Puget Sound Bridge & Dry Dock in Seattle in 1963. The M/V Taku was one of three sister ships that made up the original Alaska Marine Highway System's fleet, but unlike the other two, this vessel was not lengthened after construction.

In 1981, the M/V Taku received a major refurbishment and was in service steadily until the summer of 2015 when she was laid up due to budget considerations. The Alaska Marine Highway System subsequently announced that it would retire the vessel in preparation for sale or scrapping.

As a mainline ferry, Taku served the larger of Alaska's inside passage communities such as Ketchikan, Petersburg, and Sitka, its route primarily stayed between Ketchikan and Skagway in Southeast Alaska.

Accidents and Incidents:

  • On April 23rd, 1963 the Taku struck a rock outside Petersburg in a minus tide. She returned to service on May 3rd.
  • On August 8th, 1963 two boys entered the wheelhouse when the Taku was preparing to leave Petersburg, and engaged the engines. The resulting damage to the dock left the vehicle loading ramp out of commission for three months.
  • On July 29th, 1970, the Taku ran aground on Kinihan Island, outside of Prince Rupert, Canada. All passengers on board were evacuated safely, and the cars were transferred to the BC Ferry MV Queen of Prince Rupert.


Reporting & Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Transportation

Alaska Marine Highway System



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