Crews will test the Kennewick in coming weeks.
If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you may catch a glimpse of the newest state ferry sailing around Puget Sound in the next couple weeks. Builder Vigor Shipyards plans to start testing the ferry Kennewick this week before delivering it to Washington State Ferries. “We’re looking forward to Vigor really putting the Kennewick to the test in sea trials before we add it to our fleet,” said Captain George Capacci, deputy chief of construction and operations. “Both Washington State Ferries and Vigor have learned great lessons in this construction project as demonstrated by the delivery of a class of vessels ahead of schedule and under budget.”
The first two days of sea trials are scheduled for Oct. 6-7. The vessel will leave from and return to Everett Shipyard each day. Vigor will test the new ferry's operational systems in preparation for demonstrating the vessel to WSF and the U.S. Coast Guard the following week (Oct. 12-14). WSF is tentatively scheduled to accept delivery of the vessel from Vigor by the end of the month. WSF plans to put the Kennewick into service in January 2012; the exact date depends on the progress of several weeks of post-delivery sea trials and crew familiarization. The Kennewick will serve the Port Townsend/Coupeville route while the Salish goes into standby status, so that WSF can operate the Kennewick during its warranty period.