Vigor delivers third Olympic class ferry Chimacum

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.

About the author

Kirk Moore

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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