The 418' ferry M.V. Columbia, owned by the State of Alaska, has returned to service after a winter layover at Cascade General (Portland, Oregon, USA). The thirty-year old ship emerged from the shipyard with a re-designed restaurant and cafeteria, re-furbished car-deck doors, renovated solarium, and with a laundry conveyor/elevator installed above the car deck. Both food-service areas were re-built from the deck up.
The solarium on the Columbia is an ever-popular feature--as the ship's "patio," and as a campground for the more adventurous traveler. However, the overhead windows had been plagued with leaks and cracking for several years, necessitating a complete re-fit. The structure was stripped bare, sand-blasted and painted prior to fitting almost 300 new window assemblies, consisting of safety-glass, gasket and custom-made two-part aluminum frames. The project also included a dry-docking for inspection of rudders, C.P. propellers, stern shafts and bowthruster.