US Fab Contracts Nichols Brothers Boat Builders to build the second 144-Car Washington State Ferry

At their Seattle facility, US Fab, a subsidiary company of Vigor Industrial will partner once again with Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland, Washington to build the second 144-Car Washington State Ferry. The Vessel is the second to be built in the Olympic Class for Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries division. Construction of the first vessel is currently underway at both US Fab and Nichols Brothers facilities.

Construction of the Superstructure will commence in December 2012 following the delivery of the first structure to US Fab. Nichols Brothers will be responsible for fabrication of the superstructure to include the Grand Block consisting of all structure above the lower vehicle deck, including the ramps to the upper vehicle deck, and outfitting of each pilot house. Nichols Brothers will deliver the Grand Block on a barge to US Fab for final assembly in November 2013.

The vessel is a double ended passenger automobile ferry for 1,500 passengers and 144 vehicles. The vessel characteristics are as follows:

Length Overall  362’- 3”
Length Waterline  335’ – 0”
Beam Molded  83’ – 2”
Depth Molded, Main Deck  24’-6”
Design Draft  16’-5”
Propulsion Plant  3000 BHP x 2
Flag  United States

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) invests over 45 years experience on Whidbey Island in Washington State into the construction of a wide variety of astonishing vessels. NBBB specializes in steel and aluminum vessel construction, repair and major conversions. Nichols Brothers lead the shipbuilding industry by adopting innovative marine technologies to serve the needs of customers. NBBB’s project reputation of quality craftsmanship, excellence in performance, fuel and environmental efficiencies; is expressed within their portfolio. Visit NBBB on the web at

Vigor Industrial LLC is a leader in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry with seven extensive facilities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Vigor Industrial and its subsidiaries provide quality vessels built to last to satisfied customers across the U.S. and around the world.

By Professional Mariner Staff