Small boat means long ferry lines

Headed out on vacation soon? It might take longer than you think.

Headed out on vacation soon? It might take longer than you think.

Riders of the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry route should prepare for delays as smaller boats will continue to service the route for the foreseeable future.

According to Justin Fujioka, a spokesperson for Washington State Ferries, the 144-car Suquamish was originally scheduled to replace the 90-car Sealth, which has been serving the route for the past month.

Instead, the Suquamish will replace the 144-car Tokitae July 1 when it heads to the shipyard for maintenance.

This will likely make for lengthy lines over the next few weekends and the Fourth of July holiday. Pack your patience, a book, possibly even lunch.

As the past couple of weeks have shown, even weekday travel can incur a wait time of multiple hours. Early Thursday afternoon, the ferry system issued an alert for a two-hour wait for both Mukilteo and Clinton ferry terminals.

Beginning in mid-July, the 124-car Kitsap is slated to replace the small Sealth through early September.

One-boat service will continue throughout the summer for the Coupeville-Port Townsend route, although officials are considering temporarily adding a second boat for the Wooden Boat Festival Sept. 6-8.