Pacific Fishermen Shipyard is undertaking a major restoration of the steamer VIRGINIA V, replacing over 1200 feet of local fir planking with the South American hardwood Angelique. A white fungus had infected the fir planking, some of which was rumored to be “Blow-Down” from Mount St. Helens. The fungus had also spread to the frames, requiring replacement of close to 60 futtocks, the curved frame sections at the turn of the bilge. The shipyard is providing the experienced old time shipwrights, caulkers and a supply of oakum and pitch,required to seal the planks and render the vessel watertight. For her previous refits, Pacific Fishermen was also instrumental in arranging the donation of the solid brass windows for the main cargo deck from Cruise West, which were found in the shipyard’s loft from the refurbished SPIRIT OF 98.
The Steamer VIRGINIA V is a 125-foot, steam-powered, passenger vessel, built in 1921 at Maplewood,Pierce County, Washington, homeport Lisabuela, and was launched on March 9, 1922. She originally provided passenger and freight service between Seattle and Tacoma for small communities along Colvos Passage, as did many other privately owned vessels of Puget Sound’s “Mosquito Fleet”, the precursor to the Washington State Ferry system
VIRGINIA V is the sole steam-powered survivor of the “Mosquito Fleet”, and is one of only two operating steam-powered, wooden-hull passenger ships surviving in the United States today. VIRGINIA V was recognized as a National Historic Landmark on October 5, 1992.