VIDEO: All American Marine launches low wake, high speed ferry

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Reliance features ultra low wake Teknicraft design hull design

All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) has completed construction of the Reliance, the second of three low wake, high-speed passenger vessels for Kitsap Transit.

The Reliance, an aluminum catamaran with a composite superstructure, was launched at All American’s Bellingham, Wash., shipyard on March 6, 2019.

The 118-passenger vessel will operate on Kitsap’s current cross-sound ferry route between Bremerton, Wash., and downtown Seattle.


The vessel was designed by Teknicraft in Auckland, New Zealand, based on the successful ultra-low-wake Rich Passage 1 (RP1), built by All American Marine in 2011.

Teknicraft’s patented hydrofoil-assisted hull design has proven to have a low-wake wash energy signature that will not degrade the sensitive shore lines of Rich Passage.

In 2005, a series of federally funded wake wash studies showed that the wake signature of a Teknicraft standard hydrofoil-assisted catamaran produced the least amount of wake wash energy within its vessel class

Kitsap Transit contracted with Pacific International Engineering of Edmonds, Wash., to lead ongoing research efforts in conjunction with All American Marine and Teknicraft to further enhance and optimize the design.

Teknicraft’s principal naval architect, Nic de Waal, worked with hydrodynamicists from the University of Iowa’s IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering Research Center as well as naval architects from INSEAN in Rome, Italy to model an ultra-low wake hull.

Coastal specialists from Golder Associates of Redmond, Wash., evaluated the proposed vessel’s performance in terms of wake generation and resistance. The vessel optimization study utilized Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques to help refine the shape of the hull and hydrofoil to produce lower wake heights with less wake energy.

“Our hydrofoil supported hull has been developed and refined over the last decade to become a leader in catamaran technology,” says de Waal. “With the additional benefit of sophisticated and intensive CFD modeling over recent periods, we now have one of the most advanced and environmentally friendly hulls in terms of the combination of low wake, high speed, and low fuel consumption.”

As a result of these studies, All American Marine constructed the Rich Passage 1.


The innovative vessel was built specifically for low wake research purposes with the objective of creating an ultra-low wake energy hull design that can be used for high-speed passenger transport applications operating on wake-sensitive routes. The vessel proved that high speed passenger ferry service could safely operate through Rich Passage without causing detrimental shoreline erosion and she was placed into ferry service by Kitsap Transit in July of 2017.


The successful launch of the Reliance will provide Kitsap Transit with a back-up vessel on the Bremerton- Seattle route. A third sister vessel Lady Swift, is currently under construction at AAM and will launch in summer 2019.

Reliance is not your typical ferry, it was built to be very lightweight and to fly smoothly through the wake sensitive zone,” says Matt Mullett, CEO for All American Marine. “This vessel was strictly modeled on the proven hull design, but additional enhancements and modernizations were added without hampering performance.”

The 77’ Reliance has been designed to carry 118 passengers and travel at service speeds up to 36 knots.

The hulls are constructed of high tensile strength 5383 aluminum alloy. The passenger cabin and deck are of composites construction. The dynamic hydrofoil was molded in carbon fiber and automatically adjusts as the vessel transits Rich Passage.

Four Hamilton 403 water jets and four Caterpillar C-18 engines provide the high-powered propulsion system in compliance with EPA Tier III emission regulations.

AAM used lightweight aluminum honeycomb panel materials for finishing the interior spaces and applied high performance bottom paint to help meet the speed and wake requirements.

Launch of the Reliance followed closely on the heels of February’s introduction of Kitsap Transit’s 149-passenger electric hybrid, Waterman (see earlier story).

All American Marine’s new shipyard has provided an expanded capacity and production capabilities for both additional and larger vessels.

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