USA: Vigor Starts Construction of WSF’s New 144-Car Ferry
Vigor Shipyard has reportedly commenced the construction of a new 144-car ferry.
Construction work on this vessel was agreed under a 147M$ agreement signed between Washington State Ferry and Vigor Shipyard on November 1.
The 32 M$ ferry design is based on the 130-car Issaquah class, which accounts for the most versatile vessel in the state fleet. Salient features of the newbuild include extra wide center vehicle tunnel that will allow 3 large trucks to be loaded side by side, long vehicle rumps to upper car deck with modest steepness, high performance rudders for improved maneuvering at slower speeds, wake adapted propellers for increased efficiency and incorporated homeland security. Additional advancements such as increased comfort for 1500 persons, better access for customers with disabilities and reduced operating costs enhance the safety and efficiency of WSF’s fleet. The vessel will be able to reach the service speed of 17 knots and it will most probably be empowered with LNG.
The Keel laying ceremony will take place in May and the delivery is scheduled for February, 2014.
Washington State Ferries operates the largest ferry fleet in the United States. This project highlights the WSF’s decision to move forward and build new ferries to replace the 1954-era Evegreen State, which is the oldest of the Evergreen State Class of vessels. Nine of WSF’s 23 auto-passenger ferries are between 40 and 65 years old and must be replaced in the next 20 years.
World Maritime News Staff, February 9, 2012; Image: wsdot