BMT’s latest passenger ferry, designed for Kitsap Transit in the U.S., has successfully completed seatrials and is ready to start operation in the next few weeks. The Enetai out-performed design requirements during vessel trials, delivering to Kitsap Transit; a lighter, faster, and smoother riding vessel.

Enetai is the first of two 140'x37'x12' catamarans built to a BMT design by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB), Seattle. Her sister vessel, Commander, is due to be launched later in 2021.

The vessel has a capacity of 255 passengers on a single deck, accommodating today’s commuter expectation of dedicated bike storage, with space for up to 26 bicycles. Designed with combined bow and side loaders to enable operations at multiple terminals, the vessel will provide a key commuter link between Pier 50 in Seattle, Southworth and Kingston.

Twin MTU 16V4000 M65L engines combined with Kongsberg S71-4 waterjets allow the vessel to reach a top speed of 38 knots and a cruising speed of 35 knots. This makes Enetai one of the fastest vessels designed to meet the new US EPA Tier IV exhaust emissions regulations.

The design also includes an active ride control system ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride at high-speed. The vessel displays maneuverability and responsiveness owing to its latest generation of waterjet drives and design emphasis on lightweight construction.

“This new design incorporates the latest in exhaust after-treatment technologies, leading to a significant reduction in the emissions of NOx and SOx, thus paving the way for more environmentally friendly fast passenger ferries worldwide,” Sylvain Julien, director of naval architecture at BMT, said in a statement announcing the delivery. 

BMT’s expertise in efficient hull design, combined with NBBB’s proven ability to build high quality aluminum vessels to stringent weight requirements, has resulted in a vessel with low displacement and minimal wake wash, protecting the stunning flora and fauna of Puget Sound and further enhancing the boat’s green credentials through reduced fuel consumption.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to work with Kitsap Transit on the development and implementation of this new transportation system networking the Olympic Peninsula with Seattle,” Gavin Higgins, Nichols Brothers’ CEO, said back when the contract was signed. “Using Puget Sound as a water highway to reduce the Seattle metro traffic congestion and expand the housing market with very reasonable travel times is a great model for the other counties around Seattle to follow.”