Plan drawings

Ferries - Olympic Class (144-Car) Ferries - Complete October 2018

Project news

  • Suquamish entered service on the Mukilteo/Clinton route on Oct. 4, 2018.
  • WSF officially accepted the fourth Olympic Class ferry, Suquamish, from ship builder Vigor on Thursday, July 26. A community celebration was held aboard the vessel on Sept. 22, 2018.
  • The Suquamish was christened on Jan. 4, 2018. View event photos and read about it in the Weekly Update (pdf 207 kb).

WSF built new Olympic Class ferries to replace some of the fleet’s oldest vessels. Each new ferry carries 144 vehicles. The Olympic Class design is based on the Issaquah class, the most versatile vessel in our fleet.

The first vessel, Tokitae, joined the Mukilteo/Clinton route in June 2014. The second, Samish, was put into service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route in June 2015. Chimacum, the third ferry, entered the Seattle/Bremerton route in June 2017. The fourth, Suquamish, entered service on the Mukilteo/Clinton route in October 2018. The vessels were built at Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Washington state.

Why did WSDOT build new Olympic class 144-car ferries?
WSF constructed new vessels to replace its oldest vessels built during the 1950s and 1960s. In early 2018, seven of the 22 vessels in the fleet were more than 40 years old. These older ferries are approaching the end of their service lives and must be replaced with newer ones.

The End Result
Building new ferries helps improve the safety and efficiency of our fleet. New vessels also allows WSF to move older vessels into standby mode. Calling up a standby vessel helps maintain service and keep people moving across Puget Sound.

Needs & benefits

Benefits from the new ferries will cascade throughout the system as older vessels are replaced. Building new ferries provides the opportunity to:

  • Improve safety with state-of-the-art emergency evacuation and fire suppression systems.
  • Improved access for everyone with two accessible elevators and wider, less steep stairwells.
  • Wider car deck lanes that make it easier for crew to load and unload vehicles. Wider lanes also provide more room for passengers to access their vehicles.
  • Increased passenger comfort with better heating and ventilation, more internal seating and flexible seating configurations.
  • Reduced environmental impact cleaner burning engines, low-emissions fuels, reduced risk of fuel spills, a hull design that reduces wake, and quieter machinery.
  • Reduce operating costs with better fuel efficiency.


  • December 2007 – WSF awards design-build contract.
  • December 2008 - Todd and Martinac submit technical proposal to WSF.
  • January 2010 - WSF and Todd sign agreement to begin detailed design drawings. (This agreement is part of the December 2007 contract.)
  • Spring 2011 - Legislature funds construction of one 144-car ferry.
  • June 2011 - Detailed design for production drawings complete.
  • November 2011 - Price and schedule negotiations complete.
  • Early 2012 - Construction began on first ferry.
  • Spring 2012 - Legislature funds construction of a second 144-car ferry.
  • June 2012 - WSDOT names new 144-car ferry class: Olympic.
  • November 2012 - Washington State Transportation Commission named first two Olympic Class ferries Tokitae and Samish. Tokitae means "Nice day, pretty colors" in Coast Salish dialect. Samish is a tribal word meaning "giving people."
  • December 2012 - Construction begins on second Olympic Class ferry, Samish.
  • March 29, 2012 - Keel laying/first weld for Tokitae.
  • March 8, 2013 - Keel laying/first weld for Samish.
  • Spring 2014 - Legislative session, authorizes funding for third Olympic Class ferry.
  • June 30, 2014 - Tokitae in service on the Mukilteo/Clinton route.
  • November 2014 - Washington State Transportation Commission selects Chimacum as the name of the third Olympic Class ferry. Chimacumthe new ferry's name honors the Chemakum tribe's gathering place, which is now the present day town of Chimacum near Port Townsend.  
  • Dec. 9, 2014 - Keel laying/first weld for Chimacum.
  • March 2015 - WSF takes delivery of Samish.
  • June 2015 - Samish in service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route.
  • July 2015 - Gov. Inslee approves the Legislature’s $16 billion transportation package, which includes $122 million to build Suquamish.
  • January 2016 - Construction begins on Suquamish.
  • March 2016 - Washington State Transportation Commission selects Suquamish as the name of the fourth Olympic Class ferry. Suquamish is a tribal name.
  • May 2016 - Suquamish keel laying.
  • September 2016 - Assistant Secretary Lynne Griffith christens Chimacum.
  • April 7, 2017 - WSF takes delivery of Chimacum. 
  • June 2017 - Chimacum enters service on the Seattle/Bremerton route.
  • January 2018 - Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton christens Suquamish.
  • July 26, 2018 - WSF takes delivery of Suquamish.
  • Oct. 4, 2018 - Suquamish enters service on the Mukilteo/Clinton route.


Total budget of $563 million to build four Olympic Class, 144-car ferries.

Tokitae, the first Olympic Class ferry:

  • Vessel cost: $144 million
  • Owner-furnished materials: $12 million*
  • Total cost: $156 million

Samish, the second Olympic Class ferry:

  • Vessel cost: $126 million
  • Owner-furnished materials: $12 million*
  • Total cost: $138 million

Chimacum, the third Olympic Class ferry:

  • Vessel cost: $123 million
  • Owner-furnished materials: $12 million*
  • Total cost: $135 million

Suquamish, the fourth Olympic Class ferry:

  • Vessel cost: $122 million
  • Owner-furnished materials: $12 million*
  • Total cost: $134 million

*Approximately $12 million is for “owner-furnished materials.” The state provided the contractor service generators, propulsion systems (engines, gears, shafts, propellers and controls), rescue boats, and various communications systems for the construction of the first four Olympic Class vessels from its existing inventory. Consequently, the value of this material was not included in the legislative appropriations when each specific vessel was funded. Owner furnished equipment on future Olympic Class vessels is expected to be minimal. 


Justin Fujioka
WSF Communications