Just in time for Independence Day, the Washington State Ferries system has had to put a smaller boat on the Mukilteo/Clinton run.

"We want to thank riders in advance for their patience," said Amy Scarton, assistant secretary for Washington State Ferries. "This was the only time we were able to squeeze the Tokitae in for its inspection to make sure it's available for the rest of the summer."

A smaller 124-car ferry will replace the 144-car Tokitae while the bigger vessel undergoes its four-week inspection required by the United States Coast Guard every two years.

The ferry system plans to add extra service between Mukilteo and Clinton late night Monday, July 3 as well as Tuesday, July 4.

Ferry riders on all routes are urged to be patient.

The Fourth of July is one of the biggest travel holidays for Washington State's ferries. About 430,000 ferry passengers traveled across the Puget Sound during last year's holiday weekend, and similar numbers are expected this year.