New King County Water Taxi boats to be built by All American Marine, but delivered later than originally hoped

December 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | In King County Water Taxi, Transportation, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

(Artist rendering of new vessels’ design)
The King County Ferry District has just announced the shipbuilder chosen for the two new Water Taxi vessels: All American Marine, based in Bellingham. We’ve been reporting on the plans to have two new vessels built; the expected $11.8 million cost of designing and building them, the county says, will be 80 percent footed by the Federal Transit Administration. Each boat will be able to carry up to 250 passengers, more than Rachel Marie and Melissa Ann, leased three years ago, and more than the district-owned Spirit of Kingston, taken over last year, which will stay with the fleet. The new boats also will have wider doors for faster boarding and more bicycle capacity – 26 per boat, up from 18 now. Construction is expected to start in early 2014, with the first vessel delivered by mid-2015, the second one by the end of 2015 – that’s another delay beyond what the county told us about back in August, when the scheduled had slipped to late 2014 for the first boat. The budget also had to be increased earlier this year when no “responsive” bid came in to meet the original $11.1 million budget.

P.S. Speaking of the Water Taxi – neither route runs on Christmas Day.

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11 Comments

  1. Exciting :)

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 8:32 pm December 23, 2013 #

  2. Cool!

    Comment by heather — 8:41 pm December 23, 2013 #

  3. ” $11.8 million cost of designing and building them, the county says, will be 80 percent footed by the Federal Transit Administration.”
    .

    This apparently is our most pressing transit need.

    Comment by dsa — 9:56 pm December 23, 2013 #

  4. Very nice! I like the design of the Spirit with the ability to walk around the sides to the front, I hope the new design has a similar layout (it is not obvious from the rendering, but looks like no access to the front which would be shame).

    Very exciting to see higher capacity – it is no fun being turned away on peak days such as sports event days or in the summer peak.

    Comment by Moose2 — 10:20 pm December 23, 2013 #

  5. Yeah, not sure how this will pencil out but I dont think that was the question asked.

    Comment by Dale — 11:18 pm December 23, 2013 #

  6. Any word if the county/district will look into having weekend service during the winter & spring?

    Comment by Colby — 9:21 am December 24, 2013 #

  7. One thing about the current boats that is really a bummer is that there is little or no outside seating under cover. Many, many days it’s nice to be outside but you have to be willing to get rained on or sit on dew-covered seats. It doesn’t look like they’ve addressed that with this new design. Also hoping the new boats are a lot quieter.

    Comment by Brian — 2:51 pm December 24, 2013 #

  8. Hey brian this is not some kind of luxery sight seeing cruse ship. It is made to get people from point a to point b. The less frils the lower the cost to the tax payers. On the same train of thought it would be nice if the buses had a top deck so we could injoy the sights on our way to work

    Comment by boy — 5:57 pm December 25, 2013 #

  9. Great to see! However, we live just across the street and parking is very limited already.(Ever try walking a mile in the rain – car to home with groceries in hand – and then back to move the car every two hours? Or pay a $125.00 ticket?) There is no parking available most hours of the day and evening, except perhaps late on Sunday afternoon. (Unless the Hawks or Mariners are playing at Home) I believe in alternative transportation as much as the next person, but this can only add to our neighborhood “parking wars” situation.

    It’s especially frustrating because there is a parking lot nearby that goes largely unused most of the time. It’s by permit only. Perhaps the “Powers that Be” will add locals to the fisherman licenses required to gain access for a permit? Someone should look at the situation, before the masses increase 3 – 4 fold. Most folks drive to get to the ferry. And then, they too must walk the mile from their street parked car to the dock. “I’m just say’n…”

    Comment by Susan — 7:22 pm December 25, 2013 #

  10. It looks like someone finally figured out that if they build local it might just help the local economy. now if they just pick AMERICAN BUILT engines , just maybe they can get parts for them without a six week wait.

    Comment by Robert — 6:11 am December 26, 2013 #

  11. actually, boy, this is something of a sight-seeing ship, drawing hundreds of tourists in the summer. It’s a very large amount of the traffic during peak season.

    The first thing I looked for was the outdoor walkway/access to the front like on the Spirit of Kingston. I really, really, like that, and it’s a great place for sight-seers to go and gawk and Mt. Rainier and the Space Needle. It looks like the front area, if you can access it, is shielded too. I wouldn’t have wanted to add to costs, but I’d be disappointed if there isn’t much as much outdoor area as on the Spirit of Kingston.

    Comment by junctioneer — 6:28 pm December 27, 2013 #

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