West Seattle scene: Smallest ferry Hiyu filling in at Fauntleroy

No, there’s no trick with the perspective there – the 34-car Washington State Ferry M/V Hiyu really is small, in comparison to M/V Issaquah (able to carry almost 4 times as many vehicles). As mentioned here in the past few days, Hiyu is making unscheduled runs to supplement Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth’s two-boat schedule. And West Seattle photographer Doug Branch “couldn’t resist photographing it when it showed up:

Thanks to Doug for sharing the Hiyu views! Though it’s not following a schedule, you can monitor the Hiyu while it’s on the run by checking out the live Vessel Watch page.

17 Replies to "West Seattle scene: Smallest ferry Hiyu filling in at Fauntleroy"

  • bearschick December 10, 2012 (6:00 pm)

    It’s a baby ferry!

  • miws December 10, 2012 (6:24 pm)

    Actually the Hiyu’s length is 152′. It’s her beam (width) that is 63′.


    Doesn’t make her any less awesome, though… ;-)


    • WSB December 10, 2012 (6:35 pm)

      thanks, will fix.

  • Woodsman December 10, 2012 (6:50 pm)

    Mini Me

  • Bob Loblaw December 10, 2012 (6:51 pm)

    OMG. Squeeeee. Love the Hiyu.

  • JayDee December 10, 2012 (7:06 pm)

    I think I rode her once from Pt. Defiance to Tahlequah. I’d parked the car near the bow with the sunroof open. I wandered up to the overlooking deck and some teenage boys were discussing spitting into the open sunroof of my car. I mustered my deepest sternest voice and said: “I don’t think that would be the brightest idea…” That was the end of that. I almost want to go ride the Hiyu…a different ferry from the Jumbo Mark Class 2 ships.

  • Karen Sykes December 10, 2012 (7:15 pm)

    Hiyu is a Native American (Chinook) word meaning “plenty”.


  • timh2o December 10, 2012 (8:08 pm)

    It’s cuter then a bugs ear!

  • SudsyMaggie December 10, 2012 (8:09 pm)

    She’s one of my favorites! Very similar to the boat serving Anacortes-Guemes Island.

  • Carolyn December 10, 2012 (9:05 pm)

    Other than the fact that the traveling public isn’t getting the best service from WSF, it IS awesome that there is still one of the older boats in service that can help alleviate some of the commuters woes. If only they hadn’t scuttled the steel electric class boats . . .

  • gina December 10, 2012 (9:05 pm)

    There have been times I have wished that the Guemes Island ferry was that big!

  • miws December 10, 2012 (9:42 pm)

    She was built in ’67.


    Maybe from leftover materials from the “Super” Class boats; the Kaleetan, Hyak, Elwha, and Yakima, built the same year? ;-)



  • Woodsman December 10, 2012 (9:43 pm)

    I think I’ll put it under my tree this holiday season!

  • rudy December 11, 2012 (7:54 am)

    Oh the HIYU! She serves to south end of Vashon for years. I grew up on the island but commuted to Tacoma for school. I rode that little boat to school everyday as a kid. There are two sides to the passenger cabin. They are unconnected – way back in the day, one was a smoking cabin. The smoke cloud was crazy up there (my mom was a smoker back then – so yes I sat on the smoking side a time or two). Also there is a pursers office in one of the passenger cabins. There was a gentleman by the name of Fred who was always the afternoon purser. My sister and I would supervise him counting tickets in his office and he would always share his lunch with us. He also had one of those money dispensing belts that are sorted by coun size and it made a big a big impression on me as a kid. Oh the HIYU!

  • Nancy December 11, 2012 (3:39 pm)

    Fond memories of lots of inter-island rides on the Hiyu. She isn’t very flashy and she isn’t very fast, but she’s dependable and always gets there. Hi you, Hiyu!!

  • Kim December 11, 2012 (6:51 pm)

    Thank you Rudy, that’s a great story!

  • Christine Leonard December 14, 2012 (10:09 am)

    When I was a kid in the 60’s there were regular little ferries between Fauntleroy and Vashon that carried sleepy teenagers to pick Strawberries at Vashon. School buses picked us up at the Vashon Terminal and took us to the field we would be picking that day. In the afternoon the buses would take as back to the Vashon terminal. We would spend some of our daily wages on gum and candy purchased at the terminal. It was fun to have our own little berry picking ferry. Seeing the Little Ferry Hiyu brought back the memory.

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