M/V Kennicott heads for overhaul at Ketchikan

The M/V Kennicott, the workhorse of the Alaska Marine Highway System, is now expected to be in overhaul at the Ketchikan shipyard for 98 days, returning to service on April 21, Alaska Department of Transportation officials said Monday, Jan. 3.

AMHS estimates the overhaul will take longer than originally planned, due to how much work needs to be done, officials said.

The vessel is to head for the shipyard on Jan. 14. It was to have gone into overhaul earlier, but extended its sailing schedule through Jan. 13 to cover Upper Lynn Canal communities and legislative travel as a result of the Matanuska ferry’s extended stay in the shipyard.

The extended overhaul planned for the Kennicott will affect sailings, particularly cancellations in Bellingham. AMHS reservation specialists are trying to reach all affected passengers to assist them in making alternative arrangements for travel.

The Kennicott, built in Seattle 23 years ago, is one of the younger vessels in the AMHS fleet. It has the capacity for up to 499 passengers, up to 78 vehicles and cabins for overnight sailings. The Kennicott can be transformed into a command center for emergency teams responding to marine disasters. According to AMHS officials the Kennicott has had little time in the shipyard for the past two years and has an extensive checklist of maintenance work to be completed.