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No bidders for Steel Electrics

After spending 10 days on eBay, the four Steel Electric ferries were removed from the auction listing without any bidders.

The ferries, which were listed at a starting bidding price of $350,000 a piece, were pulled from the online auction site July 26, said Marta Coursey, spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Ferries Division.

With the listings pulled, officials are sending notice to interested brokers in hopes of finding someone to buy the antiquated vessels.

The four Steel Electrics, the Klickitat, Nisqually, Illahee and Quinault, were pulled from service before last Thanksgiving due to corrosion in the hulls of the 80-year-old vessels. That left the Keystone to Port Townsend route with passenger-only service for more than two months until the Steilacoom II was leased from Pierce County to provide limited vehicle service.

The Steel Electrics are currently moored at Eagle Harbor.

The ferry system is expected to go out to bid on a permanent replacement boat for the Port Townsend/Keystone route in September. The planned replacement, which is based on the Island Home serving in Massachusetts, will be roughly the same size as the Steel Electrics.

Construction of the first of two vessels is scheduled to be complete sometime in the spring of 2010.

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