During the height of the busiest ferry season, one of Washington State Ferries mid-sized vessels will be out for repairs for the next four months.

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The state ferry Elwha has been pulled off the San Juan Islands routes for an estimated four months of urgent motor repairs, putting a midsummer squeeze on capacity throughout Puget Sound.

And the Puyallup, which had an engine-component failure June 20, will be taken off the Seattle-Bainbridge route Monday for inspections and repairs at the Eagle Harbor maintenance base.

The Puyallup should be back in service no later than Thursday, said Washington State Ferries (WSF) spokesman Ian Sterling. Only three of its four engines operate now, “And if another engine fails, we might not be able to sail,” he said.

For some routes, this means less car space, as the ferry system shuffles boats to fill gaps in the 24-boat fleet.

For instance, the 124-car Kitsap has replaced the 144-car, 48-year-old Elwha and will stay in the islands all summer.

As it turns out, the new ferry Samish, which began service between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands last month, has helped keep the nation’s largest ferry system functional on all 10 routes. Ferries Director Lynne Griffith foreshadowed this scenario in interviews earlier this year when she said that launching the Samish makes the whole network more resilient.

Even so, the 61-year-old Evergreen State will be pulled from retirement to fill service gaps, as happened last year.

The 188-car Walla Walla will be moved from the Edmonds-Kingston route to fill in for the 202-car Puyallup on the Bainbridge run.

And the Edmonds-Kingston route, which runs with two boats normally, will have an unusual three-boat rotation using the small Tillikum and Evergreen State, each carrying 87 cars, alongside the 188-car Spokane.

The hardest blow will fall on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth triangle, which will shrink next week from three ferries to a two-boat schedule. But, in addition, the tiny Hiyu will be deployed to provide unscheduled, supplemental service “which will pull in whenever it can,” Sterling said.

He notes that the Puyallup inspection and related disruptions are being planned on weekdays — and not until after the Lavender Festival in Sequim and the Strawberry Festival on Vashon Island, which boost the usual weekend crowds.

The ferries Tacoma and Kaleetan are now being painted. The Tacoma just spent eight months undergoing electrical retrofits, after it stalled on the Seattle-Bainbridge run in July last year.

The state’s next ferry, the Chimacum, is under construction by Vigor Industrial on Seattle’s Harbor Island, and another new, $122 million boat was approved this year within the Legislature’s $16 billion transportation plan.