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Discussion Starter #1
As mentioned in another thread, a riding partner and I will be leaving on a two week road trip to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday October 1st. We plan to spend a day in Seattle then ride a Washington State Ferry across Puget Sound to Bremerton the following day.

I lived in Bremerton for two years 40 years ago back in the early 1970s while the submarine I was on was undergoing a major conversion and overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and have ridden the ferries but didn't own a motorcycle at the time and don't recall observing.

I don't expect Puget Sound to be rough during the crossing but even bouncing against the pier when landing can upset a parked motorcycle.

How should we secure our Goldwings during the ferry ride?
 

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I rode the ferry from Port Townsend to Coupville, WA a couple of months ago and all I and a Harley rider did was put our bikes on the side stand as directed by the crew. Motorcycles are the first on and first off the ferries.
 

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During a recent tour that included Ocacroke Island of the NC Outer Banks area, we were directed by the ferry crews to stand by our bikes during departures and arrivals. No special procedures during those times.
 

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I ride a number of the Washington ferries, including the one you mentioned.

When you pay at the booth, they will direct you to a motorcycle parking area at the front of one of the lanes. You'll be the first on the ferry and the first off.

When directed to do so, ride onto the ferry and park your bike where they direct you and put it on your side stand. I've never been on a ferry trip where Washington ferry where tie-downs or blocks are required. If it is a little rough, stand by your bike or even straddle it if you feel it is required for stability, though I have never felt it necessary.
 

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I ride that ferry and the Port Townsend ferry every week, after getting on the ferry put her on the side stand and leave it in gear, then go up stairs and enjoy the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the great replies. You've erased my concerns.

I'm looking forward to the trip and the ferry ride across Puget Sound. Now I won't have to worry about securing the wing or having it lying on it's side when I walk down to the vehicle deck after a pleasant ferry trip.
 

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If your up this way, hop over to Victoria BC, we can ride together. I can show you some routes here on the Island.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the invitation. I would love to but will be riding with a buddy who doesn't have a passport and I will be exercising my 2nd Amendment right as well as the privilege of a TX CHL. Wouldn't want to be jailed in Canada!

I have been to and through beautiful BC many times including to Victoria. I made an RV trip to Alaska several years ago and also transported RVs out of Indiana and Pendleton, OR into Canada from 2005 - 2007. I hauled many new travel trailers to dealers in BC, AB, SK, and ON.

One of my planned future motorcycle trips is coast to coast from BC to NS.
 

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A couple of months ago, I took the ferry from Whidbey Island to Seattle. Excellent service, extremely cheap for seniors. I believe the cost was less than $5.00. Plus, the bikes are the first on, and first off. I stood with my bike and conversed with other bikers during the short ride. I've taken many ferry rides with my bike, and I consider the Washington State ferries the best. My riding buddy, Pugsley, enjoyed all of the attention.
 

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If you are worried about it maybe coming forward off the side stand, put a bungie from the sidestand to the front tire. That will hold it in place.

Never use the center stand on a ferry.
 

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Use the ferry. It's a lot safer for you and your bike than riding around the sound and if you get a clear day it's soooo beautiful.
 

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I also went through a submarine overhaul in Bremerton, mid 70's. My wife and I went back for a visit two years ago, its still beautiful country but a whole lot more people than you and I remember. Theres a sub museum up by the Bangor sub base that you'd probably enjoy a lot.

Supply Officer, USS Puffer SSN652
 

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As mentioned in another thread, a riding partner and I will be leaving on a two week road trip to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday October 1st. We plan to spend a day in Seattle then ride a Washington State Ferry across Puget Sound to Bremerton the following day.

I lived in Bremerton for two years 40 years ago back in the early 1970s while the submarine I was on was undergoing a major conversion and overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and have ridden the ferries but didn't own a motorcycle at the time and don't recall observing.

I don't expect Puget Sound to be rough during the crossing but even bouncing against the pier when landing can upset a parked motorcycle.

How should we secure our Goldwings during the ferry ride?
Enjoy the Trip !!!

As Side Note my Girlfriends Brother use to Run the Ferry
He is retired now. Funny thing he has a Goldwing and never rides it hardly
If I was retired you could not catch me. I'd have two wings.
 

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When I had my bike on the ferry, I used something called a 'bike crutch' that stabilizies the bike by bracing it on the side opposite the side stand. It is relatively small and light weight, so I regularly carry it in the trunk. I've used it on dry land when I was concerned that I couldn't get enough lean on the side stand to be secure.

I'm sorry, but I can't find a link to it. I did, however, find a thread in another forum that pictures a similar device, and tells how to make it pretty inexpensively. http://www.dualsportbc.com/forums/showthread.php?1549-Bike-Crutch

He used his to raise the rear tire, but all you need do is adjust it to a height that pushes the bike up on it's springs a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I also went through a submarine overhaul in Bremerton, mid 70's. My wife and I went back for a visit two years ago, its still beautiful country but a whole lot more people than you and I remember. Theres a sub museum up by the Bangor sub base that you'd probably enjoy a lot.

Supply Officer, USS Puffer SSN652
I'm surprised at the number of us submariners on the Goldwing website. Perhaps it has something to do with the technical training and qualification in submarines we all went through that gave us an appreciation for fine engineering.

I have visited the museum you mentioned. It was good but the submarine museum at the submarine base at Groton is vastly superior. I've been through it three or four times and look forward to going again next time I make it to New England.
 

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I have not ridden the Seattle/Washington State ferries, but on the Great Lakes ferries across the mouth of the Georgian Bay and the Badger Ferry across Lake Michigan, they recommend tie downs and make them available if you don't carry your own.

You could tell the serious riders on the lakes because they all carried tie downs with them in anticpation...I just use three on these ferries since I had read the website and was ready. I actually keep the side stand down and have one on each fork tube and one on the rightside frame triangle. Had to pull the right side cover off, but weird stuff does happen on the water. That was what most of the other folsk with tie downs did too. either used two or three tie downs with the kickstand down.

It's obviously a lot more gentle, GENERALLY, than a trailer, so I don't get quite so anal about 4 or 5 ties downs, but why risk it? A couple of tie downs are always in my saddle bag.

It seems like a good alternative is relying insurance for the rare upset.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I had read about tie downs being necessary and used on the Great Lakes ferrys and was thinking about the issue so I sent an email to the Washington State Ferry system Sunday asking if securing straps were available and/or were padeyes or other attachment points for my own tie downs available on the ferry decks. Early this morning I received a reply saying no securing straps or devices are available and no attachment points are available on the ferry deck to attach to. The reply also stated that access by passengers to the vehicle deck is not restricted so I can remain with my Wing or return from the upper decks before the ferry lands if I am worried about a bump when the ferry touches the landing.

Several posters who have replied in this thread have made many WSF crossings and say nothing is required.

I think the ferrys running between Seattle and Bremerton are not subjected to much wind or sea state and the trip is usually very calm.
 

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... I think the ferrys running between Seattle and Bremerton are not subjected to much wind or sea state and the trip is usually very calm.
Usually is the correct phrase, but there are exceptions to every rule:



(Click the picture to view the rest of the images in this series taken on October 18, 2007)

As long as you're not making the trip during a 50-year windstorm, you'll be fine on your sidestand.
 

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Usually is the correct phrase, but there are exceptions to every rule:




(Click the picture to view the rest of the images in this series taken on October 18, 2007)

As long as you're not making the trip during a 50-year windstorm, you'll be fine on your sidestand.


The ferries do run in most weather so it is not unusual to experience pitching and/or rolling. When I feel motion I just stay on the bike to steady it and hold the brake. Remember Murphy's Law and the unknowm fact that Murphy was a seaman.

You are also riding close to the 'gales of November' which also occur during Sept, Oct. Dec, Jan, Feb,....:eek:4:
 

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Ferry Ride

My wife and I hope to travel next year from Wa. to Vancouver Island to visit the Campbell River area. She vacationed there as a young girl 40 years ago.

How do fares work for using the ferry? Is it based on length? a flat fee for bikes?

Thanks.
 
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