Construction of the steel-hulled, aluminum superstructure ferry M/V Oscar B has been completed for Wahkiakum County as a replacement for the existing ferry, Wahkiakum.
The Oscar B, designed by Seattle's Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) and built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, is a 115 ft. x 47.6 ft., 23‐Car, 100 passenger ferry named after the late Oscar Bergseng who skippered the Wahkiakum for 17 years. The vessel, currently underway toward Astoria from Whidbey Island where it underwent sea trials, will run between ferry terminals in Cathlamet, Washington and Westport
, Oregon, and is slated to be delivered this week.
The new M/V Oscar B is nearly twice the size of its predecessor, which held 12 passenger cars. Designed to operate at 8 knots, the Oscar B is powered by two Cummins QLS diesels, each delivering 285 HP at 1,800 RPM and coupled to ZF Marine reversing reduction gears with two fixed‐pitched propellers.
In addition to its expanded vehicle capacity, the Oscar B offers hydraulic steering instead of cable and chain steering, up-to-date electronics, a passenger lounge and ADA-accessible restrooms. The vessel meets current U.S. Coast Guard requirements.