ACI Boats, Port Townsend, Wash., and Coastwise Corporation, an Anchorage, Alaska-based marine architectural firm, will build a new whale watching and tour boat t0 operate in Washington state's San Juan Islands.

Designed by ACI and Coastwise, the 54'x20', 80-passenger Subchapter-T inspected vessel will be an all-aluminum symmetrical planing catamaran for Orcas, Wash.-based Outer Island Excursions.

Main propulsion will come from four 600-hp Mercury V12 outboards with 4-bladed, dual prop, counter rotating wheels.

The new tour boat will also be equipped with two Garmin 861XSV 16 MFD and Garmin 18xHD 4 kW radar. electronics and navigation.

The main floor is designed to accommodate 54 passenger seats, three dinettes, a galley, and two head compartments. The upper cabin will feature four dinettes, bench seating, and an enclosed helm station, accommodating up to 16 passengers.

The boat's design will prioritize safety, visibility, and passenger experience, the companies said. Direct glazed windows throughout the vessel will provide passengers with panoramic views of the San Juan Islands and the local wildlife. The main deck will have a raised bow viewing deck, while the upper deck will feature curved bench seating and a 360° vantage point.

Tankage will include two 500 gal. tanks for fuel and 130 gals. fresh water.

The boat is a step up in size for ACI’s facility in Port Townsend, and it will give ACI the opportunity to expand its operations while creating more job opportunities within the local community, the company said.

The new passenger vessel is scheduled for completion in 2024.