Skagit County, Wash., is seeking proposals for the construction and delivery of an all‐electric ferry design to replace the ferry Guemes.

Designed by Glosten, the 28‐car Subchapter‐T vessel has a steel hull and aluminum superstructure, with a propulsion plant consisting of two azimuthing thrusters, electrically driven by a battery‐electric system charged from shore.

Skagit County has operated a vehicle and passenger ferry service between Anacortes, Wash., and Guemes Island, Wash., since the early 1960s. The current vessel, the Guemes, is a 21‐vehicle, 99‐passenger, diesel‐powered ferry that was built and put into service in 1979. The ferry operates 365 days a year and transports roughly 200,000 vehicles and 400,000 passengers annually. 

“This is an exciting milestone in the process to replace the current ferry,” Skagit County Commissioner Ron Wesen said in a statement. “The ferry provides a vital transportation link to Guemes Island and we’re looking forward to finding a partner to help us deliver the first all‐electric ferry in our community.” 

Naval architecture firm Glosten was engaged by Skagit County to develop an all‐electric ferry design to replace the Guemes, a 40‐year‐old diesel‐powered vessel. Like its predecessor, the ferry will provide service between Anacortes and Guemes Island.

Shipyards interested in are encouraged to visit for more details. Bid proposals are due Dec. 4, 2023, by 1 p.m. PST. 

There are no alternative roads or highways that provide access to Guemes Island. Thus, the Skagit County ferry system serves as a vital transportation link for its ridership. In addition to transporting commuters, the ferry also carries tourist traffic, construction and logging trucks, essential services trucks, and emergency vehicles and personnel to and from the Island. 


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