LETTER: A new design concept for a Mosquito Fleet ferry

Written by Marine Log Staff
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Is a ferry design with a classic Seattle ferry look the answer for future Puger Sound transportation

“The Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet was comprised of hundreds of private transport companies’ steamers and sternwheelers that worked the waterways of Puget Sound between 1830s to 1930s. Before roads, the area relied on these boats for transportation and commerce. Unpredictable and dangerous, the ferry system battled weather, water conditions and boiler accidents to connect communities.” [Source: Puget Sound Maritime History Society]

Apparently not too impressed by some of the concepts currently being floated for Puget Sound ferry systems, reader Kurt Hughes wrote us with an alternative suggestion:


I have a new 65-foot Mosquito Fleet ferry proposal. Imagine a Holo Holo for cold weather, with classic lines that can hold up to 135 passengers. The ferry would be 500 hp per side at 27 knots. A Cat C-9 on each side would give 26 knots. A Cat C-18 would give 30 knots. ZF transmission and a three bladed 25-inch propeller for the C-9.

The design has a classic Seattle ferry look from years past, but is crazy efficient, with an upper deck for nice days.

Dimensions are 65-foot by 33-foot by 28-inch canoe body draft.

Construction is foam/glass with corecell 1-inch foam.

My ferry could also be electric, but it has a small carbon footprint already.

Most of the vessels I’ve designed operate in Hawaii. The Holo Holo, Kai Oli Oli and Alii Nui are warm-weather boats that ferry a large number of passengers. I want to take what I know and apply it to the Puget Sound. The difference is that I come from a sailing background. We are familiar with easily driven hulls and know that weight saving is critical.

Almost all the passenger ferries that I see are by designers with a powerboat background. They just pile on more horsepower to make up for not being easily driven and heavy.

I have been designing catamarans for 35 years and today I am a Seattle naval architect specializing in catamarans. Most of my work is in Hawaii, Florida, Mexico, Lake Chelan (Wash.), Belize, and Uganda.

Kurt Hughes
Multihull Designs

Mosquito Fleet ferry
Mosquito fleet ferry
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