Sunday, June 29, 2014

To Build a Ferry: M/V Tokitae

Recently, the Washington State Department of Transportation took delivery of a new ferry, M/V Tokitae (toh-kee-tay), as part of the Washington State Ferries Fleet Modernization Program.

Under State law, ferries must be constructed by Washington State ship yards, of which up to five yards can bid on new construction.

In the 144-car, 1,500 walk-on Olympic Class, three vessels:

•  Tokitae
•  Samish
•  As yet unnamed

The new ferries are built in four modules:

•  On March 2, 2013, Nichols Brothers Boat Building of Freeland, Washington, began construction of the ferry superstructure.

•  The keel was laid on March 29, 2012, at Vigor Industrial on Harbor Island, Seattle.  As a kid growing up in Seattle, we remember the Vigor complex as Todd Shipyard. An impressive list of ships were fabricated at this location!

Portland (Oregon) based Vigor purchased Todd in December, 2010.

•  The bows, #1 End and #2 End, were built at Jesse Engineering in Tacoma and delivered to Vigor for assembly.

The 1,100-ton superstructure was loaded onto a barge for delivery to Vigor. The 1,800-ton keel and 1,100-ton superstructure were mated on March 5th., 2014.

This time-lapse video begins with the keel being laid inside Vigors shop. When completed, it is wheeled onto a floating dry dock. At 1:30 in the tape, the hull module is seen aboard the dry dock. Then the house is moved from the barge, with the final scene showing the competed vessel floated out of the dry dock.

The $144 M USD ferry was completed in March 2014, and Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson christened the M/V Tokita on March 26, 2014.

A few weeks ago, some 800 visitors attended the M/V Tokitae Community Celebration. VIP's included members of the Samish and Swinomish tribes. "Samish" is a tribal word meaning "giving people."

Swinomish, Samish, Lower Skagit and Kikiallus, who joined together to form the present day Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Seven generations ago, in 1855, Swinomish Chiefs and eighty-one other tribal Chiefs gathered at Múckl-te-óh (present-day Mukilteo, Washington) to sign the Treaty of Point Elliott.

"Tokitae" is the Samish tribal greeting meaning "nice day." It's also the name of a Washington orca, captured at Penn Cove, Whidbey Island, about 15 miles north of Freeland, Washington, where the Tokitae superstructure was fabricated.

Now named "Lolita," Tokitae is existing at the Miami Seaquarium.

This link provides some insight as to how Puget Sounder's and many other folk feel about Orcas in captivity.

The vessel has five decks, with the first deck being the lower vehicle deck, followed by an upper vehicle deck, the passenger deck, sun deck, navigation bridge deck and the upper house level.

Tokitae is fitted an advanced fire suppression system, two elevators for better accessibility, a sewage holding tank and fuel holding tanks.

The Tokitae is fitted with four Marine Evacuation System (MES) stations, manufactured by Liferaft Systems Australia, (LSA.)

C02 launches the slide and rafts. The Kennewick, Salish and Chetzemoka are also fitted with this system.

M/V Tokitae Particulars

• Owner: Washington State Ferries
• Class: Olympic (1st of 3)
IMO: 9720160
MMSI: 367608860
• Call Sign: WDH3588
• Gross tonnage: 8,000 tons
• Summer DWT: 1,400 tons
• Length: 362.5 ft.(110 m)
• Beam: 83 ft.(25 m)
• Draft: 24.5 ft.(7.5 m)
• Capacity Passengers: 1,500 Vehicles: 144

• Prime Mover: 3,000 hp (2,237 kW) EMD 12-710G7CT2 x2. (G7C = marine, T2 = Tier Two expectations, x2 = two engines.) Locomotive version; winding up.
• Speed: 17 k (31 mph).
• Detroit Diesel generator sets (Hotel power.)

• Falk reduction gears, interconnecting high speed shaft (Number 1 and Number 2 sets side by side.)

•  Becker articulated rudders give predictable response in tight quarters and low speed maneuvering.
•  Rolls-Royce Controllable Pitch Propellers.

Crew, selected by seniority, is in training - crew familiarization - learning how to operate the vessel with demonstrated confidence. She's scheduled to begin service the first week of July.

On March 8 of this year,Washington State Governor Jay Inslee welded the initials of his grandchild "BRI" at the keel laying ceremony for the state's second Olympic class ferry, the M/V Samish, at Vigor Industrial Seattle shipyard.

The keel laying and first weld are maritime traditions equivalent to placing the cornerstone in a new building.

M/V Samish was lowered into the water last month, and is expected to be placed in service next spring.

Party Conversation Starter.  Double-ended ferries; do they have a "bow" and a "stern?"  

Photos courtesy WSDOT except as noted

5 Comments - Click here: said...

Robert, it is odd that the new ships will not be fueled by LNG which has been used with great success in a number of ferries in Europe starting over ten years ago. For an environmentally sensitive region as the NW is, such a move would have been expected.

Robert in Port Townsend said...

LNG is on the way! WSF has completed safety, navigation and security risk assessments that evaluate using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel source for the Issaquah Class ferries. WSF will now submit a formal Letter of Intent (LOI) to the U.S. Coast Guard. The submission of the LOI will include the WSA and the LNG Operations Manual for the U.S. Coast Guard’s review. The submission of the LOI and WSA marks the official starting point of the U.S. Coast Guard’s review process.

See: said...

Impressive details on how our ferries are built- It''s a good thing Vigor doesn't build airplanes!

Matt Farnsworth said...
Have you heard about the problems the Tokitae is having and the subsequent design changes that are begin made to the other two?
Matt F
Moscow Idaho

Robert in Port Townsend said...

Thanks, Matt - I'm working on it! Like one observer said, "You'd think they would know how to build a ferry by now."

Remember, the last trio - Kwa-di Tabil Class - Chetzemoka, Salish and Kennewick were delivered with a passenger unnerving 3 to 5 degree list. It's a 5 mile run from here to Keystone Harbor. We get waves off Port Townsend in Admiraltiy Inlet of up to 20'. Add to that the list! It has cost thousands and thousands of tax payer dollars to finally ballast the vessels, to calm the public. Oh, yeah, it also improved performance.

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