Kitsap Transit Approves $15 Million Contract for Two All American Marine High Speed Low Wake Ferries.
Kitsap Transit’s board recently approved a $15 million contract with All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) for the construction of two additional Rich Passage-class passenger ferries. The new ferries will be designed to operate on Kitsap Transit’s current cross sound ferry route between Bremerton and downtown Seattle. The design of the new vessels is based upon the successful ultra low wake All American Marine built, Rich Passage 1. AAM was tapped as the sole source to build the vessels as the licensed builder of Teknicraft Design hulls in North America
. Teknicraft’s patented hydrofoil-assisted hull design is proven to have a low wake wash energy signature that will not degrade the sensitive shore lines of Rich Passage.
The two new vessels are currently dubbed “RP-2” and “RP-3” after their sister ship, Rich Passage 1, that established the vessel class. Rich Passage 1 was built by All American Marine in 2011 as a research vessel for a demonstration study to prove that high speed passenger ferry service could safely operate through Rich Passage without causing detrimental shoreline erosion. Extensive wake wash testing and beach monitoring has shown that the Rich Passage 1 is a viable solution. The new boats will fill the need for additional service with one vessel and the other available as a spare or to fill in where needed. "This is kind of an exciting day for the fast ferry program, that we can get the additional RP-class boats under construction," Kitsap Transit executive director John Clauson said.
While the design premise for the original Rich Passage 1 research vessel was spearheaded by Auckland-based Teknicraft Design, there were numerous consultants and contributors to the design effort including hydrodynamicists from the University of Iowa’s IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering Research Center, naval architects from INSEAN in Rome, Italy, and a leading America’s Cup design consultant. With the success of the parent craft hull design substantiated, All American Marine and Teknicraft Design will now work with Kitsap Transit to improve the vessel amenities to enhance the new vessels for regular passenger ferry service. “Rich Passage 1 is not your typical ferry, it was built to be lightweight and to fly smoothly through the wake sensitive zone,” explains Matt Mullett
, CEO for All American Marine. The new boats will be strictly modeled on the proven hull design, but additional enhancements and modernization will be added where possible without hampering performance or its low-wake characteristics.
The 77’ ferries are designed to carry 118 passengers and travel at service speeds up to 37 knots. AAM will construct the hulls with high tensile strength 5383 aluminum alloy. The passenger cabin and deck are made from composites and an adjustable hydrofoil will be molded in carbon fiber. Quad water jets and Caterpillar C-18 engines will be fit to provide the high-powered propulsion system in compliance with EPA tier III emission regulations. AAM’s craftsmen will also utilize lightweight aluminum honeycomb panel materials for finishing the interior spaces and will apply high performance bottom paint to further enhance the speed and wake characteristics.
This latest contract with Kitsap Transit follows a previously awarded contract for a new hybrid powered passenger ferry. All American Marine is currently constructing a new 149-passenger, 72’ aluminum catamaran to operate on Kitsap Transit’s ferry routes between Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Annapolis. Alongside Kitsap’s new hybrid ferry, All American Marine is also building the largest lithium-ion hybrid powered vessel in America for San Francisco based Red and White Fleet. Each of these crafts are constructed in All American Marine’s new shipyard that has provided the builder with expanded capacity and production capabilities for larger vessels.