You’re invited to help name the new West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi vessels

June 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm | In King County Water Taxi, West Seattle news | 40 Comments

(Rendering of new vessels – reflecting size/shape/configuration, not final color/paint/trim)
Just in from the King County Ferry District:

The King County Ferry District wants King County residents to help name the two new water taxis that will serve West Seattle and Vashon Island.

“This is a great opportunity to display your creativity and highlight your favorite part of our region,” said Joe McDermott, who chairs the King County Ferry District. “Anyone can submit name suggestions, so spread the word to your kids, friends, families and neighbors!”

The naming contest starts today. Individuals can submit their ideas at or by calling 206-477-3840. Suggestions will be taken until Friday, July 18, 2014. The King County Ferry District will then narrow the names down before putting the final public vote forward to the public at the end of July.

To be considered for the final vote, names must contain regional relevancy, must not exceed two words nor have any inappropriate language. A boat’s name is said to reflect its personality, so the name should be in good taste. While this will not disqualify a name suggestion, it should be noted that maritime folklore says it is unlucky for the boat to be named after a living person who intends to ride the boat in their lifetime.

The new vessels are primarily funded through federal grants and are being designed and built by All American Marine in Bellingham. The new vessels will start serving riders next year …


  1. How about The Princess Evangeline and The Sealth?

    Comment by Julie Ormbrek — 12:25 pm June 27, 2014 #

  2. The Betty MacDonald (for Vashon boat).

    Comment by gina — 12:36 pm June 27, 2014 #

  3. How about “Kumsoonish” – in another language means – ” running a little late”

    Comment by Karen — 12:51 pm June 27, 2014 #

  4. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

    Comment by DTK — 12:53 pm June 27, 2014 #

  5. Bertha’s Revenge

    Comment by wsn00b — 12:56 pm June 27, 2014 #

  6. The Jean Enersen

    Comment by BMann — 1:13 pm June 27, 2014 #

  7. Xbox On
    Xbox Off

    Comment by Robert — 1:34 pm June 27, 2014 #

  8. The “Alki” is a no-brainer for one.
    I’m tempted to vote for the “SS Not Having To Deal With Traffic” as another, but I won’t.

    Comment by Mel — 1:57 pm June 27, 2014 #

  9. Save the expense of painting one vessel and name it “The Tin Man”.

    Comment by pupsarebest — 1:57 pm June 27, 2014 #

  10. Call one of them them Orca and paint it black and white :P

    Comment by cj — 2:22 pm June 27, 2014 #

  11. Three cheers for Doc Maynard!

    Comment by John — 2:26 pm June 27, 2014 #

  12. “Luna Park”

    Comment by BlairJ — 2:41 pm June 27, 2014 #

  13. S.S. Alkiholic

    Comment by JacksonM — 3:07 pm June 27, 2014 #

  14. M/V Ivar Haglund

    Comment by JayDee — 3:19 pm June 27, 2014 #

  15. Julie: Sealth would be a great choice if not for the fact that WSF already has an Issaquah class ferry by that name on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route.
    Given a desire for an historical connection, my thoughts are:
    The West Seattle water taxi should be named Duwamish. Duwamish means “people on the inside,” i.e., Ellliott Bay and its tributaries, the area the Duwamish called home. The fact that the West Seattle route is the “inside passage” within Elliott Bay is a nice play off that meaning.
    The Vashon Island water taxi could be named Lushootseed. Lushootseed refers to the Native American language spoken throughout Puget Sound. Every Native American nation on a Puget Sound watershed spoke a language belonging to the Lushootseed (or Puget Sound) branch of the Coast Salish family. Thus, by naming the water taxi Lushootseed, all Puget Sound Salish Nations are honored. And that just happens to be the body of water the Vashon water taxi traverses on its route.
    So, these names reflect an “inside” and an “outside” version of the waters they travel. I kinda like the sound and synergy of that. FWIW…

    Comment by Pibal — 3:29 pm June 27, 2014 #

  16. Not a fan of the indian/tribal related names. For one, there is already plenty of acknowledgement with existing ferries. The Puget Sound ferry system should represent and reflect all of us, not just some historical whimsy. Secondly, there is a whole lot more to the PNW than just the tribal stuff. Use names to reflect our diversity both in people, culture, economy, etc.

    That being said, naming one “Alki” makes a lot of sense as it reflects the area being serve

    Comment by Ray — 4:15 pm June 27, 2014 #

  17. How about “King County Debt”.

    Comment by alki resident — 4:35 pm June 27, 2014 #

  18. Love being referred to as historical whimsy.

    Comment by newnative — 6:06 pm June 27, 2014 #

  19. Dempsey!

    Comment by Pepperpants — 8:51 pm June 27, 2014 #

  20. I suggest “Wasgo,” for a mythological sea serpent that is said to cruise Pacific Northwest waters and bring good luck to anyone who sights it.

    Comment by Alvis — 8:55 pm June 27, 2014 #

  21. “Justgetmethere” :)

    Comment by LyndaB — 12:41 am June 28, 2014 #

  22. I would name it the USS Springer named after the orca that hung out near the Vashon ferry dock year ago until taxpayers paid a small fortune to kidnap it and deport to Canada.

    Comment by Les — 6:23 am June 28, 2014 #

  23. Since some readers might not have been here in 2002:
    Private donations were reported to have covered a fourth of the ~$380,000 cost. Most of the rest came from federal grants specifically for marine-mammal rescue. Side note: Same type of grant that funds research into stranded animals – such as the occasional whale that turns up on the beach – and as Seal Sitters pointed out last fall, it’s been reduced.

    Comment by WSB — 7:36 am June 28, 2014 #

  24. WSB

    At that time I lived on the bluff on Marine View DR. S.W.
    Federal money is taxpayer money,grants are also taxpayer money.
    I watched that massive operation there were many coast gaurd boats,many helecopters and I believe all marine traffic was also forced to travel on the west side of Vashon Island that day. This total process took weeks or maybe months at a substantial cost.

    Comment by Les — 7:52 am June 28, 2014 #

  25. How about “Casino” and “Firecracker”.

    Comment by Upthecreek — 10:38 am June 28, 2014 #

  26. I love the idea of honoring our ancestors who tended the land and seas before us. Duwamish and Lushootseed would be great choices.

    Comment by Jan — 7:02 am June 29, 2014 #

  27. Name the boat “The Ernessee” after Fred Ernessee. Fred was one of the greatest men to live on Vashon and he’d was like a father to us all. His family donated the land to start the town of Vashon, and they grew acres of produce, fruit and berries.

    Comment by Laurie Ragan Anderson — 8:16 am June 29, 2014 #

  28. Could not agree more with Ray’s comment. Well said.

    Comment by wetone — 10:14 am June 29, 2014 #

  29. By far our state’s most popular (books sold) and famous author is Betty MacDonald. I’d love to see the Vashon boat named after her since she lived in Seattle and Vashon for so many decades.

    Comment by Allie James — 6:37 pm June 29, 2014 #

  30. What about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle – the unique lady Betty MacDonald described in her famous books?

    Comment by Linde Lund — 7:29 pm June 29, 2014 #

  31. How about “The Lisabuela” They were the daughters of the family who owned that dock, dance hall etc on West Vashon. Lisabuela Park is still there today…

    Comment by matt smith — 10:19 pm June 29, 2014 #

  32. We like “Alki.” It’s the obvious choice, but it’s obvious for a reason.

    Comment by Real Estate Gals — 12:15 pm June 30, 2014 #

  33. Here’s another vote for “Alki” and also for “Lisabuela” (as a euphonious connection to a little-known piece of Vashon history).

    Comment by WestSeattleite — 10:40 pm June 30, 2014 #

  34. Alki is a good name but isn’t there a fire boat by that name or was that the boat that was sold and possibly renamed by now?

    Comment by Les — 8:13 am July 2, 2014 #

  35. One more idea for the Vashon boat: Sally Fox. If it was not for her, passenger only service may not even exist today. A memorial on her life:

    Comment by Vashon gal — 8:32 am July 3, 2014 #

  36. I suggested Cascadia, and the aforementioned Kumsoonish

    Comment by Cascadian — 12:22 am July 4, 2014 #

  37. Naming the Vashon boat Sally Fox would be a wonderful tribute to a tireless advocate for the passenger ferry.

    Comment by Linda Straley — 8:26 am July 5, 2014 #

  38. Betty MacDonald would be the ideal name.
    Author Betty MacDonald is very successful in many countries, take for example the Czech Republic. She is the most popular author in this country until today.

    Comment by Wolfgang Hampel — 4:37 am July 6, 2014 #

  39. Dr King/ Rosa Parks. After all her achievement was in a transportation related matter.

    Fallen Sherriff’s Deputies
    Fallen Armed Forces
    Fallen Firefighters

    Jimi Hendricks/ Quincy Jones

    Ivar Hagelund/ JP Patches

    Ann& Nancy Wilson/ Kurt Cobain

    Dave Niehaus for the West Seattle boat.

    Comment by ddl1423 — 10:35 am July 7, 2014 #

  40. Lynn Campbell

    to honor the founder of the first Seattle water taxi, the Spring Street Water taxi and founder of Argosy Cruises formerly Seattle Harbor Tours.

    Comment by Rhiann — 11:43 am July 9, 2014 #

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