TACOMA, Wash. – The man who purchased the vintage art deco ferry Kalakala nine years ago in hopes of returning it to its former glory says owning the ship has ruined him financially.
Steve Rodrigues said he has been evicted from the trailer where he was living, located at the dock where the Kalakala is moored along Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway. Rodrigues says the property owner removed the trailer, forcing him to stay with friends and family.
The local boating website Three Sheets Northwest, citing the Army Corps of Engineers, reported that a January storm damaged the Kalakala, causing the 276-foot vessel to list to port about 30 degrees.
Despite his financial situation, Rodrigues said he does not want the boat to become an environmental problem and plans to maintain it so it doesn’t sink. He said that by 2014, the ship will either be salvaged or cut up for scrap.
Last December, Rodrigues claimed someone had stepped forward to purchase the Kalakala for $1 and had promised to restore it. There were also rumors it might be moved to New York.