The Alaska Marine Highway ferry Taku will go into drydock for repairs the second week of December.
Spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says the drive system for one of the ship’s two propellers needs work. He says no other ferry is available to fill in.
The Taku sails from Prince Rupert to Skagway, with stops in Haines, Juneau, Sitka, Kake, Petersburg, Wrangell and Ketchikan.
Woodrow says the repair timing is intentional.
“We did chose the week of Dec. 8-15 as a way to avoid the Thanksgiving holiday and to have the ship back on line before the Christmas and New Year holiday,” he says.
He says a hydraulic fluid line in the propeller’s variable-pitch drive system needs repair.
Woodrow says wear and tear, not a specific incident, caused the problem.
“The ship can still operate under current conditions. It’s just operating inefficiently,” he says.
Woodrow says it’s using too much fuel.
The Taku will go into drydock at the Ketchikan shipyard.
The ferry can carry up to 600 passengers and 135 vehicles. But the numbers are much smaller this time of year.