Seattle Fire Department to sell the ancient Alki
February 12, 2013
Want a 123'x26' fireboat that can pump 16,000 gpm?
The Seattle Fire Department has one for sale, the Alki, and you can probably get a hell of
a deal on it when it’s put up for auction sometime in the next month or two.
It’s a bit of a fixer-upper, however.
The Alki was built
in 1927 and has a riveted steel hull. And if the topsides are any indication,
the hull could be problematic.
The Alki was
originally powered by gasoline engines, but the original engines were replaced
with diesels in 1947, all 16 of which are still smoking away.
That’s right. The ancient Alki has 16 engines, which includes six pairs of 380-hp, GM 6-71s that power the six Byron Jackson centrifugal pumps, two
supercharged, 8-cylinder, 500-hp GM mains, one 45-hp GM 3-71 driving a 30-kW
generator and one 128-hp GM 6-71 turning a 60-kW generator.
Just think of all the fun your engineering staff can have
with such a boatload of machinery.
At least the Alki
has been in fresh water since 2002 when it was stationed at Fishermen’s
Terminal following a series of disastrous marina fires in Lake Union and Lake
Washington. She had been stationed on Elliott Bay, along with the 96’x23' Chief Seattle. But it takes at least an
hour to get through the locks between Puget Sound and the Seattle Ship Canal,
so the Seattle Fire Department finally put a boat inside the locks.
Now the Seattle Fire Department has the 108' Leschi, a major platform fireboat built in 2007, on the
downtown waterfront and the newly rebuilt Chief
Seattle will soon take the place of the Alki
at Fishermen’s Terminal.
So the Alki is now
up for grabs. But don’t grab too hard as you may find yourself holding a piece
of the boat in your hand, as I did last week when I fingered a bolt on one of
the boat’s eight monitors during a brief visit.
will soon be posting videos of the Alki
streaming smoke and water in Lake Union and eBay bidders will have an opportunity to buy a working piece of
Good luck with that.