Before being acquired by Point Ruston in 2007, the Point Ruston Ferry had already lived a full life as navy vessel Aquidneck YFB-14 and civilian ferry. Built in Maine in 1936 by the Bath Iron Works Corporation, it was put to use ferrying men and materials back and fourth between Newport and Goat Island. The ferry was named after a small island in Narragansett Bay that had been called Aquidneck by the Native Americans that had lived in the area. Aquidneck was retired from naval use in October of 1971 and transferred to Washington five years later to serve as a ferry between Stielacoom and Anderson Island as part of the Pierce County Ferry System. Here it performed its final years in public transportation before the state sold the vessel. Purchased by Haldo Inc.’s R.T. Wallace, the ferry sat for only a few short months before the Point Ruston Team found it listed on Ebay priced as “negotiation only.”
Moving quickly, Mike Cohen bought the ferry as a potential showroom for the Point Ruston development, appropriately renaming the ferry the Point Ruston. After a full lifetime of use the boat required extensive renovations and additions. Now fully functional and refurbished above and beyond its original state, the boat exemplifies Point Ruston’s luxurious waterfront living opportunities. The boat is moored on the Tacoma Waterfront in front of the Point Ruston site just a few minutes further down the canal from its younger (but bigger) brothers, the SS Cape Intrepid and the SS Cape Island. The Point Ruston occasionally patrols the Sound and makes trips up to Seattle as a moving showroom. Next time your on the waterfront, come down and check out Ruston’s newest tourist attraction.
Historical Photos of the Point Ruston Ferry