Nationwide shipbuilder search begins for five new-hybrid-electric ferries

Submitted by the Washington State Ferries

WSF invited shipbuilders from across the country late last week to bid on building us five new hybrid-electric ferries. In 2023, the legislature passed a law that allows us to solicit shipbuilders nationwide (instead of just in Washington state) and to build vessels concurrently at one or two shipyards. The last boats constructed out of state were delivered in 1967. Under this contracting approach, two ferries could be delivered in 2028, two more in 2029 and the final vessel in 2030 (subject to final bid prices and available funding). These boats are expected to support our Mukilteo/Clinton and Seattle/Bremerton routes. They will help tremendously in restoring service and reducing environmental impacts.