Suquamish shipbuilder Vigor took the new vessel out on sea trials in July 2018. In this photo, the Olympic class ferry is in Elliott Bay with Seattle’s Discovery Park in the background. (Washington State Ferries)

Suquamish shipbuilder Vigor took the new vessel out on sea trials in July 2018. In this photo, the Olympic class ferry is in Elliott Bay with Seattle’s Discovery Park in the background. (Washington State Ferries)

Brand spanking new ferry Suquamish launches into service

With room for 144 vehicles and 1,500 passengers, there should be smoother sailing on the Whidbey route.

MUKILTEO — The state’s newest workhorse made an unexpected splash Thursday afternoon.

The ferry Suquamish was launched into service a few days earlier than planned on the Mukilteo-Clinton route.

And it’s going to keep sailing back-and-forth on the busy passage.

The Suquamish had passed necessary sea trials since it was completed in July. Thursday was the first time it carried paying passengers.

“It’s running and doing its thing,” Washington State Ferries spokesman Ian Sterling said.

The ferry’s name means “people of the clear salt water” in the Suquamish Tribe’s traditional language.

It cost $122 million to construct, in addition to equipment provided by state ferries, and was made by ship builder Vigor Industrial in Seattle.

“It has Tier 4 diesel engines, which are the cleanest in the fleet,” Sterling said.

The Olympic Class ferry has the capacity for 144 vehicles and 1,500 passengers. It’s the fourth ferry in this class and the second on the Mukilteo-Clinton run.

“Those are beautiful boats. They hit it right when they built this class,” said Mark Edvardsen, a ferry captain on the route.

The Suquamish replaces a ferry holding 124 vehicles, so now both boats will be of equal size.

“It’s going to make it a lot more pleasant for the people who commute,” Edvardsen said. “Twenty cars for a half hour might not seem like much, but it actually adds up over a period of a day. The lines won’t be as long. We just pull up the boat and go.”

It is green-and-white, like all the other ferries.

How can people tell them apart from shore?

Look at the name plate.

Passengers will notice, though.

“The Suquamish people put a lot into the art and the interior decoration of the ferry,” Sterling said.

Oh, and another thing …

“It’s got that new boat smell,” he said.

Andrea Brown:; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Local News

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Private prisons, police reform and a Black pioneer’s plaque

Here’s what’s happening on Day 45 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Joe Hempel swims off of the shore of Seawall Park on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 in Langley, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Scantily clad is the dress code for these cold rush swimmers

Immersed for 30 minutes in frigid water would kill most of us. It energizes these swimmers.

Everett man found dead in creek near Lake Stevens

The man, 28, was reported missing Thursday. A neighbor found his body in Little Pilchuck Creek.

When not at home, Brett Bass keeps his rifle locked in a 600-lb. safe at his home on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 in Edmonds, Wa. Bass, an NRA certified firearms instructor and safety officer, is one of three Edmonds residents who sued to block the city's safe storage gun law from being enforced. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Appeals court says Edmonds can’t enforce safe storage gun law

State law “unambiguously” pre-empts the city from enacting its own firearm rules, the panel concludes.

A Washington State Patrol detective photographs the vehicle involved in hit and run double fatality in Bothell Friday on February 19, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Fatal hit-and-run victims identified after Friday crash

They were Carson M. Cox, 32, and Sarah L. Foxheath, 39, according to the state patrol.

Autopsy shows Lake Stevens woman, 20, drowned Saturday

Anna M. Lopez was swimming when witnesses noticed she was not responsive, according to officials.

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2021, file photo, the Legislative Building is shown partially shrouded in fog at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's richest residents, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, would pay a wealth tax on certain financial assets worth more than $1 billion under a proposed bill whose sponsor says she is seeking a fair and equitable tax code. Under the bill, starting Jan. 1, 2022, for taxes due in 2023, a 1% tax would be levied not on income, but on "extraordinary" assets ranging from cash, publicly traded options, futures contracts, and stocks and bonds. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Federal package could drive more than $10B to Washington

The state would get $7.6B for COVID response, schools and child care. Snohomish County is in line for $160M.

Rain drops gather on a ball cap with the name of the crab fishing boat Scandies Rose, a 130-foot crab fishing boat from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, that sank on New Year's Eve, as the hat rests near some flowers and a fishing float at the Seattle Fishermen's Memorial, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
‘We are rolling over’: Edmonds survivor recounts boat tragedy

The inquiry into the Bering Sea sinking of the Scandies Rose crab boat openened with a mayday call.

Most Read