Washington State Ferries took delivery of the Chimacum, the third in a series of four Olympic-class ferries, April 7 from Seattle builder Vigor Industrial. The 144-car/1,500 passenger vessel will serve on the Seattle-Bremerton route this summer, after outfitting and crew operational training and drills,, the state ferry agency said.
The $123 million, 362’x83’ vessel is named for the town of Chimacum near Port Townsend, in honor of the Chemakum tribe’s gathering place. It replaces the 310’x73’ ferry Klahowya, which has served since 1958.
The Seattle-Bremerton route serves 2.7 million customers annually. Like its earlier sister vessels Tokitae and Samish, the Chimacum has flexible seating configurations, wider vehicle lanes and two passenger elevators. WSF officials say that makes a big improvement in accessibility passengers with disabilities.
“We’re proud to support the many communities and hundreds of thousands of people who rely on the ferry system every day,” Vigor CEO Frank Foti said in announcing the delivery. “Each ferry built here in Washington helps shipyards throughout Puget Sound retain skills vital to the maritime industry and supports hundreds of jobs.”
The fourth Olympic-class ferry, the Suquamish, is now under construction at Vigor’s Harbor Island shipyard in Seattle.