All American Marine delivers whale-watching boat to Puget Sound Express

Written by Nick Blenkey
whale=watching vessel

Swiftsure is third AAM vessel ordered by whale=watching tour operator Puget Sound Express

Bellingham, Wash., based All American Marine (AAM) has delivered another whale-watching vessel to the Hanke family’s Puget Sound Express (PSE). This latest vessel, the Swiftsure, is modeled after the AAM-built, Teknicraft-designed Saratoga, delivered in the spring of 2018, but, at 77 feet long, is slightly longer than the 73-foot Saratoga.

whale-watching vessel
Swiftsure features Teknicraft’s signature integration of a wave piercer positioned between the catamaran hulls

The hull design is complemented by Teknicraft’s signature integration of a wave piercer positioned between the catamaran hulls to break up wave action and ensure reduced drag while enhancing passenger comfort. The vessel’s design offers all passengers a smooth ride and comfort as the hull provides a cushioned effect when encountering waves.

The USCG Subchapter T certified, high-speed catamaran whale-watching vessel has two asymmetrical semi-planing hulls and an adjustable aluminum midship hydrofoil plus two aluminum aft foils, which allow the boat to achieve top speeds of 40+ knots. This design, coupled with finely-tuned, wave-piercing eco bows, enables the boat to travel through calm and rough water at full cruising speed while keeping underwater noise to a minimum.

“This is another very special occasion for Puget Sound Express,” said co-owner Peter Hanke. “The Swiftsure is the third boat that we have had the opportunity to build with All American Marine. Once again, this vessel has exceeded all performance expectations while incorporating EPA Tier III engines. Despite numerous supply chain challenges during the construction process, All American still delivered this exceptional vessel on time and on budget. They listened to us and, as they did on the first two vessels, met or exceeded our needs. We’re excited for our customers to enjoy the Puget Sound onboard Swiftsure.”


The Swiftsure was designed from top to bottom for low fuel consumption at high speeds, a factor critical to the success of the daily whale watch tours, which operate out of Edmonds. Wash., a short drive north of downtown Seattle.

Whake watching vessel bridge
Swiftsure’s bridge

Its four Scania Di 16 083M engines, with a rating of 800 mhp @ 2,300 rpm, power four HamiltonJet HJ364 water jets, complete with a state-of-the-art HamiltonJet AVX control system. .

AAM says this system is second to none in terms of maneuverability and fuel efficiency at higher speeds.

“During sea trials, we went out with a specifically fully laden vessel, and the difference in terms of fuel consumption between light laden and fully laden was almost negligible,” said designer Nic De Waal. “We’ve done many years of research to develop a vessel design that’s particularly low-wake, due in large part to our unique hydrofoil system that doesn’t displace as much water and create waves as is the case with traditional hull design.”

Interior of whale-watching vessel
Swiftsure interior

The soundproofing details in the engine room ensure that the passenger cabin of the whale-watching vessel is quiet and comfortable throughout the ride. The interior of the vessel is finished with cutting-edge materials, including recyclable Ayres aluminum honeycomb wall panels and recyclable Dampa aluminum ceiling tiles with acoustic insulation that span the main cabin as well as the interior cabin on the second deck. Other amenities include ADA-friendly accommodation spaces, comfortable Beurteaux seating, three restrooms, and an extended galley complete with a full-service bar for passengers.

The Swiftsure is also equipped with seven HDTVs and a premium sound system with speakers inside and out for a fully immersive experience throughout the vessel’s journey.

stern view of whale-watching vessel
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