TACOMA, Wash, -- An anonymous buyer has stepped forward to buy the endangered art deco ferry Kalakala for $1.
On the Kalakala website, owner Steve Rodrigues said “The Kalakala will be saved from the scrap yard and restored to her full glory.”
No other details about the sale were immediately released.
Rodrigues bought the Kalakala in 2003 when it sat as a blight on Seattle's Lake Union. When people complained about the eyesore, he moved it to Neah Bay where it was unceremoniously booted out a short time later. It finally found a home well out of public view in Tacoma. Over the summer, though, the foundering ferry started sinking. Rodrigues fixed the hull and righted the ship, but now has lost his lease. The Coast Guard wants him to move too, saying the rusty old hulk could go down in the Hylebos Waterway.
If Rodrigues doesn't move the Kalakala by January 1, he faces more than $32,000 in fines per day. That forced him to sell the boat, on the condition that the buyer restore the ferry and not sell it for scrap. His hope, however, was to find someone who would restore it.