Washington State's New Ferry Starts Operations

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 12, 2018

Suquamish in Elliott Bay during sea trials in July 2018. (Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation)

Suquamish in Elliott Bay during sea trials in July 2018. (Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation)

The newest auto/passenger vessel to serve the United States' largest ferry system has made its debut on the U.S. West Coast.

Washington State Ferries (WSF) began carrying passengers aboard the newest state ferry, Suquamish, sailing from Clinton, Wash. on October 4.

The 1,500 passenger and 144 vehicle capacity Suquamish, constructed by U.S. shipbuilder Vigor and christened earlier this year, is the fourth and last of the funded Olympic Class ferries, built to replace the midcentury-era Evergreen State Class vessels. The $122 million Suquamish is the cleanest in the WSF fleet, meeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 emission standards.

WSF said it will operate Suquamish on the Mukilteo/Clinton route during the busy summer season and as a maintenance relief vessel filling in when other vessels are unavailable on other routes.

While Suquamish is the currently WSF's last funded new ferry, a long-range plan to address future vessel needs through 2040 is under development and planned to be delivered to the legislature in January.

“The plan recommends building new vessels to replace the oldest ferries in the fleet,” said Ferries head Amy Scarton. “Just to maintain current service levels, 13 of our oldest ferries will need to be replaced by 2040, and we’re recommending building 16 new vessels in total to continue to provide reliable service.”

Length: 362' 3"
Beam: 83' 2"
Draft: 18'
Max Passengers: 1,500
Max Vehicles: 144
Tall Deck Space: 34
Auto Deck Clearance: 16'
Type: Auto/Passenger Ferry
Engines: 2
Horsepower: 6,000
Speed in Knots: 17
Propulsion: DIESEL
Displacement (weight in long tons): 4,384
City Built: Seattle
Year Built: 2018

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