Washington State Ferries’ Chetzemoka undergoes final outfitting

The following is the text of a press release issued by Elliott Bay Design Group:
(SEATTLE) — The newest vessel in the Washington State Ferries (WSF) fleet, the EBDG-designed ferry CHETZEMOKA, made its first trip on Saturday April 3rd.
The vessel was towed from Todd Pacific Shipyard in Seattle to Everett Shipyard, where it will remain for the next few months undergoing final equipment outfitting and systems testing.
The CHETZEMOKA is a 64-car, 750-passenger ferry, the first of the Kwa-di Tabil Class.
Washington State Ferries selected Elliott Bay Design Group to design the replacement vessels for their aging steel-electric class boats on the Keystone-Port Townsend run. Because it was a proven design suited to open water, high winds and wave conditions, WSF adopted EBDG’s existing ISLAND HOME ferry design and made modifications to fit WSF’s system.
Design changes include modifications to the hull to fit WSF terminals and slightly increased length and depth for an improved life-cycle weight margin. Internal modifications include a near doubling of fuel capacity, revised sewage system, removal of bow thrusters and lift deck, and redesign of the superstructure. One of the mezzanine passenger areas was converted to a bike holding area. The superstructure is a combination of steel and aluminum for weight savings. The propulsion system consists of two main engines, each driving a fixed-pitch propeller at either end. The steering system features a high-lift rudder for added maneuverability. The new vessel is 274 feet long with a 65-foot beam, and has a service speed of about 14 knots.
The CHETZEMOKA is scheduled to start sea trials in late June and to enter service in August. It will replace the EBDG-designed STEILACOOM II, currently on loan from Pierce County to service the Keystone-Port Townsend run since the retirement of the steel-electric boats.
Two additional vessels of the Kwa-di Tabil Class are to be added to the WSF fleet. The first of these is currently under construction and is anticipated to join the CHETZEMOKA on the Keystone-Port Townsend run in the summer of 2011.
By Professional Mariner Staff