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Bon voyage: Preliminary designs for all-electric Kitsap Transit ferry released

The new 150-person vessel would travel on the Seattle-Bremerton route.

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The darkened background certainly makes this vessel look a little more ominous, but we promise its not on its way to attack Seattle.

Screenshot via the Federal Transit Authority

Table of Contents

Maybe you think Tesla is some cutting-edge tech, but wait until we introduce you to the new all-electric ferry that’s expected to serve on Kitsap Transit’s Seattle-Bremerton fast ferry route.

The ferry design is coming out of a 2020 research award that was granted to Kitsap Transit to help improve current technologies. The hope is to establish a zero-emission alternative to the current diesel vessels.

About that funky look

The most notable feature of the new ferry is its hydrofoil design that will push the hull above the water, which kinda fits that whole futuristic vibe this ship has going on (or maybe it just looks like chicken legs to you).

But apart from literally coming out of the water, this ship has some pretty interesting tidbits to pay attention to.

Here are some of the biggest points to note about this futuristic voyager:

  • The new fast foil ferry is expected to require less than one-third of the normal energy current vessels use.
  • The hydrofoil system makes much less noise than typical ships (ideal for the orcas and your conversations) and creates a much smoother ride. Those who normally feel a little seasick on boats shouldn’t have as much of a problem here.
  • They should be able to make the crossing between Seattle and Bremerton in 32 minutes — on par with the current crossing time.
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Yes, believe it or not — those little sticks will hold up the boat and 150 people once it gets going.

Screenshot via Federal Transit Authority

More about the cha-ching, cha-ching

The ferry’s final construction is expected to cost about $14 million, but Kitsap is seeking $18.5 million from the US Department of Transportation to build a 1:5 scale prototype for testing before it dives all-in on the new system. The total operating cost for one of these electric beasts is $1.3 million annually — which is 35% less than is used on conventional diesel boats.

There is no date projected for a first maiden voyage, but the project is certainly years away from completion. We’ll just have to sit tight.