No one wants the ferry Taku

No one wants the ferry Taku.

According to the Alaska Marine Highway System, no one has met the minimum $1.5 million bid to buy the Taku, which was commissioned in 1963 and has been laid up since 2015.

Bids were due by 3 p.m. May 9.

By email, Alaska Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said the state will now take offers of at least $700,000 through May 31.

In March, Capt. Mike Neussl, director of the Marine Highway, said there had been at least a dozen people interested in the Taku between the time it was laid up and the time the state began formally accepting bids.

At that time, the Empire consulted with several ship brokers who said it would be unlikely for the state to receive $1.5 million for the Taku because of the ship’s age and high maintenance costs. Millions of dollars beyond the purchase price would be needed to maintain and operate the ship, experts told the Empire.

[Up for sale, state ferry Taku isn’t a buyer’s delight]

The Taku is the first ferry to be sold by the state since the ferry Bartlett was sold on eBay in 2003 for $389,500, but others are likely to follow it.

The state is preparing to commission two Alaska-class ferries late this year and early next year. Those ferries, under construction in Ketchikan, are expected to serve northern Southeast, and the Marine Highway is already struggling with the operating costs of its existing fleet.

 


 

Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 419-7732.

 


 

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