Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Vigor Delivers 2nd of 3 Ferries

By Mark Edward Nero

The brand new 144-car ferry MV Samish is officially set take its place amid Washington state’s ferry system. Washington State Ferries accepted the Samish from builder/contractor Vigor Industrial on April 10.

Following two months of sea trials and crew training, the $126 million ferry is expected to begin service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route on June 14, in time for the start of the summer sailing season.

“I’m delighted to take delivery of the Samish,” Ferries Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith said. “More than 23 million passengers rely on our ferry system every year. Adding another Olympic Class vessel represents the state’s continued commitment to replace older vessels and plan for the future.”

The new ferry’s name comes from a tribal word meaning, "giving people." It is the second of three funded, Olympic class vessels to replace the aging, midcentury-era Evergreen State class vessels.

The $126 million Samish offers an ADA-compliant, car-deck restroom; flexible seating configurations; improved heating and ventilation; and wider stairwells and passageways.

“The Samish represents the very best in state-of-the-art ferry design and has helped strengthen the maritime community by supporting more than 500 jobs throughout the Puget Sound,” Vigor Fab sales director Bryan Nichols said.

Washington First Lady Trudi Inslee is scheduled to christen the vessel at a May 20 open house at the Anacortes ferry terminal.

Vigor Industrial’s US Fab Division has a contract with Washington State Ferries for design and construction of three 144-car ferries. The first, Tokitae, was completed in March 2014 and pressed into service in June 2014. Construction of the third, Chimacum, began in fall 2014.