An open house was held on sleek Jumbo Mark II ferry Puyallup, to welcome it to its new home, the Edmonds/Kingston route. Later in the month, it was down to business as Puyallup began ferrying cars and passengers across the busy crossing.
The arrival of Puyallup marks the culmination of a long process to bring more ferry capacity to the Edmonds/Kingston route. The building of three new Jumbo Mark II ferries - Wenatchee, Tacoma and Puyallup - has enabled the ferry system to move the original Jumbo ferries (Spokane and Walla Walla) to Edmonds/Kingston.
Now, a Jumbo and Jumbo Mark II are assigned to the route, which is the second busiest in the ferry system in terms of total riders, behind Seattle/Bainbridge Island
Consequently, the Super Class vessels that were at Edmonds/Kingston have been reassigned to other routes needing more capacity. It's all part of the trickle-down effect felt on several routes in the ferry system from the coming of the three new Jumbo Mark IIs.
Puyallup is nearly identical to its two sister ships, and the casual eye won't detect any differences. However, some slight modifications were made in building Puyallup
, based on lessons learned from its predecessors. Most of these deal with the placement of equipment in the wheelhouse for convenience sake. One important improvement is a structural modification to eliminate vibrations that passengers and crew members felt on the first Jumbo Mark IIs.
Puyallup is 460 ft. long (20 ft. longer than a Jumbo ferry), cruises at 18 knots, and can carry 218 vehicles and 2,500 passengers.