Mukilteo Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

Newest WSF ferry, Suquamish, makes debut in Mukilteo


October 10, 2018

The Suquamish coming into the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal. The Suquamish is the latest ferry to join the Washington State Ferries fleet, made its passenger debut last Thursday, Oct. 4, carrying passengers from Clinton into Mukilteo.

Washington State Ferries has begun to carry passengers aboard the newest state ferry, Suquamish, which made its debut sailing from Clinton to Mukilteo last Thursday, Oct. 4.

The Suquamish completed its sea trials this past July, and replaces the older, smaller Kittitas vessel. It is the 23rd ferry vessel to join the Washington State Ferries fleet.

The Suquamish is the fourth and last funded Olympic Class ferry. The new ferry’s name means “people of the clear salt water” in Southern Coast Salish Lushootseed language.

The ferry will operate on the Mukilteo/Clinton route during the summer season and will also serve as a maintenance relief vessel filling in when other vessels are unavailable on other routes.

“Suquamish will be on the Mukilteo/Clinton route for weeks going forward unless it’s called to duty elsewhere due to an unknown situation with it or other vessels,” Washington State Ferry spokesman Ian Sterling said. “In short, it should be there for quite some time."

While Suquamish is the last currently funded new ferry, Washington State Ferries is developing a Long Range Plan to address future vessel needs. The plan will be delivered to the state legislature in January.

“The plan recommends building new vessels to replace the oldest ferries in the fleet,” said Ferries head Amy Scarton. “Just to maintain current service levels, thirteen of our oldest ferries will need to be replaced by 2040, and we’re recommending building sixteen new vessels in total to continue to provide reliable service.”

Facts about the Suquamish:

  • 144 vehicle and 1,500 passenger capacity.
  • $122 million to construct, in addition to equipment provided by Washington State Ferries.
  • Constructed by ship builder Vigor in Seattle
  • Cleanest vessel in the fleet. Meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 emission standards.

Washington State Ferries, a division of the Washington State Department of Transportation, is the largest ferry system in the U.S. and safely and efficiently carries 25 million people a year.


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