Second 144-car ferry readied for Washington State

Written by Marine Log Staff
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Washington State Ferries' newest boat, Samish, on sea trials

APRIL 13, 2015—The $126-million Samish, the second of three 144-car ferries, was recently accepted by Washington State Ferries (WSF), Seattle, WA, following its delivery from Vigor Industrial. Following two months of sea trials and crew training, the new ferry will begin service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route on June 14, just in time for the start of the summer sailing season.


Designed by Seattle-based Guido Perla & Associates, Inc., the Olympic Class vessels have a capacity of 144 cars and 1,500 passengers and are 362 ft 3 in long x 83 ft 2 in wide. Main propulsion is by two Electro-Motive Diesel engines developing a total 6,000 hp and giving the vessels a speed of 17 knots.

WSF has a contract with Vigor Fab for design and construction of three 144-car ferries. Construction of the Chimacum began in fall 2014.

The first in the series, the Tokitae, joined the WSF in June 2014 for service on the Mukilteo/Clinton route. The three Olympic Class ferries will replace the state’s Evergreen Class boats built in the 1950s.

“I’m delighted to take delivery of the Samish,” says Ferries Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith. “More than 23 million passengers rely on our ferry system every year. Adding another Olympic Class vessel represents the state’s continued commitment to replace older vessels and plan for the future.”

The new ferry will be christened on May 20 by Trudi Inslee, the wife of Washington Governor Jay Inslee, at the Anacortes ferry terminal.

WSF ferries provide a vital link for regional commuters and commerce. The new Olympic Class ferries will provide wider lanes and more space for cars and trucks and more comfort for passengers with an ADA-compliant, car-deck restroom; flexible seating configurations; improved heating and ventilation; and wider stairwells and passageways. Additionally, the new ferries will offer WSF improved fuel efficiency and better fuel consumption, as well as reduced wake and quieter machinery.

“It’s been an honor for Vigor to partner with Washington State Ferries on this vessel, and the nine other ferries we’ve built to serve the people of Washington,” says Bryan Nichols, Director of Sales at Vigor Fab. “The Samish represents the very best in state-of-the-art ferry design and has helped strengthen the maritime community by supporting over 500 jobs throughout the Puget Sound.”

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Whidbey Island, WA, built the ferry superstructure for the Samish under a contract from Vigor Fab. It also built the superstructure for the Tokitae and will do so for the Chimacum as well.


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