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Washington state ferry. Photo via Christine Majul

In theory, it sounded like a great idea. Get a bunch of geeks on one of the state’s iconic white and green ferries for a summer crossing where developers could work on new government-related apps along the way. But today’s Geeks on a Ferry event, initially scheduled to kick off from Seattle’s Colman Dock today at 3 p.m., was torpedoed by an unanticipated event.

Nope, it wasn’t spotty wi-fi connections, or some computer bug that crashed this party.

It was the boat itself. The Kaleetan was taken out of service today, the giant ferry boat that was supposed to transport the geeks to the hackathon in Bremerton.

“We are devastated and will refund tickets and work to reschedule our inaugural coding on a boat event,” according to a message sent by City of Seattle Director of Electronic Communications Sabra Schneider. The email was titled: “Geeks on a Ferry is canceled: The boat is broken.”

Instead of the ferry boat hackathon, geeks were invited to gather for a three-hour open house at the Polar Bar at Seattle’s Arctic Club. Not quite the same as coding on the Kaleetan.

So, there you have at. One of the state’s newest activities — mobile app development — hamstrung by one of its oldest — sailing. I don’t think there’s an app for that.

Now, let’s at the very least hope there’s better luck next week with an old-fashioned transportation method. That’s when the “Geeks on a Train” trip takes place, transporting geeks (including team GeekWire) from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. for the GROW conference.

Previously on GeekWireAttention geeks: Your government needs you (and it’s offering $75,000 for new apps

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