Washington State Ferries Ridership at a 15-year High
Washington State Ferries, the nation’s largest ferry system, carried nearly 24.5 million passengers in 2017, its highest ridership since 2002. Ridership increased for the ninth consecutive year and was up by more than 250,000 over 2016. “We expect our ridership to continue to grow as more people move to Western Washington,” said WSF head Amy Scarton. “As part of the state highway network, the ferry system is a critical link between more affordable housing on the west side of the sound and key employment centers on the east side.
Washington State Christens New Ferry Suquamish
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) christened Suquamish, its fourth Olympic Class auto/passenger ferry, to serve passengers on the Mukilteo/Clinton route beginning in 2019. The christening ceremony was held at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, where the new 144-car ferry has entered the final stages of construction and preparation ahead of sea trials starting in mid-2018. In addition to summer operations on the Mukilteo/Clinton route, the new ferry will also serve as a maintenance relief vessel in the winter, filling in when other vessels are out of service.
PVA Elects New Leadership
Members of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) have elected Richard “Dick” Purinton as 2001 president. Also elected were Fredrick “Fred” Hall as vice president and Gary Frommelt as secretary-treasurer. Prior to becoming president, Purinton served as PVA vice president and secretary-treasurer. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he became president of the Great Lakes Ferry Boat Association. He has been with Washington Island Ferry Line since 1979, the year it joined PVA. Hall was vice president and general manager of Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, which operates three, automobile and passenger ferry across the Long Island Sound to Bridgeport, Conn.
Feature: Leaving Home
For many years the fortunes of the Great Lakes-based shipbuilders and naval architects was based solidly on the building level of the owners who were also based on the 94,000 sq. mi. of water that makes up the five Great Lakes. That is no longer as true a statement as it once was. While there are many projects in this area designed and build by Great Lakes firms for owners in the area, an impressive number of significant commercial market projects as varied as Staten Island, New York ferries and Gulf of Mexico crew/supply boats were designed and or built on the Great Lakes. The Kennedy Class of double ended auto/passenger ferries is one of the most recognizable images of New York City. Every weeknight millions of people see one during the opening of the David Letterman Show.
It’s Electric: Charging Asia’s First E-ferry
Innovative charging technologies connect Asia’s first e-ferry to electrical power, eliminating emissions and dramatically reducing operating costs. The retrofitted passenger ferry, which operates between the island of Cijian and the port of Kaohsiung in Taiwan and that entered service last year, is fully electrically powered. This follows the introduction of a hybrid ferry earlier in 2017. The charging solution was supplied by Swiss based engineering firm Cavotec, who said the technology ensures safe, fast and efficient connection of the ferry to electrical power at the Kaohsiung berth.
Developing Better Marine Inspectors
The Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment (MSD) Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and the Washington Island Ferry Line (WIFL) located in Washington Island, Wisconsin teamed up to create a Small Passenger Vessel (SPV) industry training program for Coast Guard Marine Inspectors. Early this summer WIFL’s President, Mr. Dick Purinton, and Lieutenant Jerry Butwid of MSD Sturgeon Bay, met to create the training program to provide marine inspectors with a better understanding of the industry they regulate.
$42M in Grants for Ferry Docks & Facilities
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $42m in grants to improve ferry service and build new docks and facilities in 15 states and Puerto Rico. Congress authorized the Federal Highway Administration’s Ferry Boat Program was created to fund ferry boat projects that provide critical access to areas that lack other means of transportation where high passenger demand already exists. Program funds can be used for capital improvements to existing ferry operations which could increase the number of riders, relieve congestion or address environmental or significant operational concerns. The projects include funding…
Ferry Experts and Legislators to Discuss Steel Electric Ferries
Washington State Ferries will hold meetings regarding the status of the Steel Electric class vessels and Port Townsend/Keystone ferry service. Legislators and staff from affected ferry communities, Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond and Washington State Ferries Executive Director Mike Anderson will review current ferry status and discuss future vessel and service options. John Boylston, Naval Architect, Legislative Joint Transportation Committee consultants and WSF engineers will present Steel Electric repair and replacement options. Legislators and their staff, shipyard representatives, Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond and Washington State Ferries Executive Director Mike Anderson will likely attend. The meetings will be held in the Rainier Conference Room.
Training to Test Response to Ferry Hijacking
On December 16th, the U.S. Coast Guard, Washington State Patrol, and Washington State Ferries will be conducting a joint agency training exercise in Yukon Harbor, southwest of Blake Island. The drill scenario incorporates a multi-agency response to a simulated ferry hijacking. Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams from the Seattle Police Department, Kitsap County Sheriff’s office, and the Washington State Patrol along with the Washington State Ferries, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Bainbridge Island Fire and Police Departments, and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife will use the opportunity to implement contingency plans and strengthen interagency relationships developed since September 11th.
HIYU to Return to Service
The 34-car M/V Hiyu, the smallest and most unique car ferry in the Washington State Ferry fleet, returns to the San Juan Islands inter-island route this Monday, July 16, for six days while the 88-car M/V Evergreen State goes into the yard for preparation and then completion of its required annual inspection by the United States Coast Guard. The Hiyu, which has two separate passenger cabins and no elevator, was the inter-island vessel in the summers of ’86 and ’88 and in the Fall/Winter/Spring schedules of 1990-1998 on the San Juan Islands route before becoming a relief vessel.
Mukilteo Dock/Cathlamet Investigation Report Finalized
Washington State Ferries announced the results of the investigation into the Cathlamet incident at Mukilteo on June 1st. At approximately 5:44 a.m. that morning, the Washington State Ferry MV Cathlamet, sailing from Clinton (on Whidbey island) to Mukilteo hit the north wingwall at over seven knots, causing $139,000 damage to the ferry and over $1 million in needed terminal repairs. Port Captain Mark McElwaine, lead investigator into the incident, conducted extensive research interviews with crew members and reviewed GPS Tracking of the Cathlamet incident.
Foss Ships Utility Trucks to Puerto Rico
At the Port of Virginia in Norfolk and the Port of Lake Charles in Louisiana, Foss Maritime is loading hundreds of utility trucks onto barges bound for Puerto Rico this week. It’s all part of the on-going effort to restore power to nearly half of the population who are without electricity. Last Friday, Ricardo Rosselló, governor of Puerto Rico, announced that 1.5 million Puerto Ricans are still without power 100 days after Hurricane Maria hit Sept. 20. As part of the on-going power restoration effort, Foss is working with a coalition of 19 U.S.
Washington Governor Makes Weld on State’s Second Ferry
Washington Governor Jay Inslee officially kicked off the construction of M/V Samish, the state’s newest 144-car ferry, by making the first weld on the vessel at Vigor Industrial’s Seattle shipyard Friday. Earlier in the week US Fab, the Vigor company building the ferries, hit a major project milestone on the first vessel, the M/V Tokitae, when the company successfully transferred the 1110-ton superstructure onto the hull. Joined by state transportation officials, community leaders…
WSDOT Christens New Ferry Chimacum
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) christened Chimacum, the third Olympic Class vessel to join the Washington State Ferries (WSF) fleet. The ceremony took place at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle, and marked the vessel’s final stage of construction and its preparation for sea trials. In a traditional maritime ceremony, Washington State Ferries Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith broke a bottle of champagne to officially welcome the new ferry to the fleet. Gov.
Coast Guard Recovers Emergency Landed Helicopter
A Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter that was on Washington Island after the crew made an emergency landing on Sunday was recovered Monday and is being transported back to Air Station Traverse City, Mich., to undergo necessary repairs. A six-member recovery team from the air station arrived on Washington Island on Monday morning to begin the process of recovering the helicopter. At about 5 p.m. CST, the crew loaded the trailered aircraft onto the Washington Island Ferry, Arni Richter, for a 30-minute transit back to Northport Pier in Door County, Wis.
Washington State Ferries to Shift to Clean Fuel Initiative
Washington State Ferries (WSF)/Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will shift the entire ferry fleet to low-sulfur diesel fuel, test ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, and test biodiesel fuel—all steps that will improve air quality by reducing the amount of harmful substances in the ferries’ diesel fuel exhaust. The ferry system also has upgraded its vessels with more-efficient engines and made operational changes that have reduced fuel consumption and emissions, and will continue seeking new ways to improve fuel efficiency. As a result of all these changes, nearly 10,000 fewer tons of pollutants will be released into the air by ferry fuel emissions.
Retired Ferry Gets a New Lease on Life
A 50-year-old retired Washington State passenger ferry will get a refit, and with it another life as a floating entertainment space. Washington State Ferries (WSF) has sold its smallest retired ferry, Hiyu, for $150,000 to Menagerie Inc., who plans to repurpose the vessel as a floating entertainment venue. “We make every effort to keep our retired ferries operational, instead of being sold for scrap,” said WSF Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa. At 162-feet-long, the ferry is considered to be the among "cutest and most cherished" in Washington history…
Build Team for WA Ferry Announced
Build-In-Washington Team announced for Washington State's next new ferry. Multi-company approach means 500 jobs across the region. Major members of the build-in-Washington subcontracting team that will build the state’s new 144-car ferry are now set, as prime contractor US Fab today announced final subcontracting agreements with companies, including Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island, Jesse Engineering of Tacoma, Vigor Marine of Everett and Eltech Electric of Seattle. The multi-company, multi-town approach supports more than 500 direct jobs around Puget Sound, including many new hires, and will support an estimated 2,000 additional indirect jobs in the state.
Third Olympic Class Ferry Joins WSF fleet
The new ferry Chimacum joined the Washington State fleet on Friday, April 7 as Washington State Ferries officially accepted the vessel from builder/contractor Vigor. The Chimacum will carry ferry riders on the Seattle/Bremerton route this summer after crews complete vessel outfitting, operational training and drills. Christened Chimacum, the new ferry’s name honors the Chemakum tribe’s gathering place, which is now the present day town of Chimacum near Port Townsend. “We’re excited to welcome the Chimacum to our fleet,” said Washington State Ferries Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton.
Washington Sells Its Oldest Ferry
Washington State Ferries (WSF) has sold its oldest ferry, Evergreen State, for $300,000 to Jones Broadcasting, LLC., who plans to use the 63-year-old vessel for ferry service in the protected waters of the southern Caribbean. “The Evergreen State is a special ferry. It was the first vessel custom built for Washington State Ferries in 1954,” said Ferries Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa. The first of the three Evergreen State class auto/passenger ferries, the 87-car, 854-passenger Evergreen State features surplus drive motors from World War II.
Frommelt Named President of PVA
Gary Frommelt, Hornblower Marine Services, Elizabeth, Ind., was elected 2003 PVA President on February 18 during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2003 held in Long Beach, CA. Other officers elected were PVA Vice President, David B. Clark, Golden Gate Ferry , Larkspur, CA, and PVA Secretary-Treasurer, Cornel Martin, Delta Queen Steamboat Company, New Orleans, LA. Frommelt serves as project manager for Hornblower Marine Services as director of marine operations for Caesars Indiana-home to the largest riverboat casino in the world. Frommelt was most recently PVA Vice President, has served on the PVA Board of Directors since 1996, and has been a long-term member of the Safety Committee.
VIGOR, US Fab Deliver Ferry to WSF
Receive Green Light to Begin Building Another. Shipbuilding to Generate More Than 500 Jobs at Two Dozen State Firms. One completed, one to begin. Even as VIGOR Industrial this week delivered the final new 64-car ferry to Washington State Ferries, the company’s US Fab shipbuilding division received a green light from the state to begin constructing the system’s next vessel. On Monday, the companies delivered the state’s newest ferry, Kennewick, to WSF, three months ahead of schedule.
USCG Cutter in Oregon Spill Drill
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Fir, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Astoria, Oregon, participated in a Spilled Oil Response System exercise near Blake Island, Washington, Wednesday. The exercise was part of an annual response exercise and included members of the Coast Guard 13th District Response Advisor Team, Pacific Strike Team out of Novato, California, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Washington State Department of Ecology, Harley Marine Service Inc., Navy Region Northwest, Washington State Ferries, and the Marine Spill Response Corporation.