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August 18, 2017

Top half of Suquamish ferry leaves Tacoma

Photo from Vigor [enlarge]

The state's newest ferry, the Suquamish, went on a maiden voyage of sorts this week — at least part of it.

After 16 months of fabrication at Jesse Co.'s shop in Tacoma, the ferry's superstructure on Wednesday was rolled onto a barge and towed by the tug Pacific Knight to Vigor's Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle.

The 1,600-ton superstructure is nearly 267 feet long, 82 feet wide and 75 feet tall. It was fabricated in 21 separate module weldments in Jesse's shops and then erected into its final form at Jesse's Tacoma yard.

Today the superstructure is scheduled to be rolled onto its hull section that Vigor built at the Seattle drydock.

The $122 million Suquamish is the fourth and final authorized addition to Washington State Ferries' fleet of Olympic class 144-car ferries. It should be ready to sail by July 2018 and is expected to operate for 60 years.

Vigor also built the other three Olympic class ferries: the $123 million Chimacum (in service earlier this year), the $126.5 million Samish (in service June 2015) and $144 million Tokitae (in service June 2014).

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