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Shipyard delivers new ferry to WSF

Officials with Washington State Ferries said Monday that their ship had come in.

WSF said the builders of the state's newest ferry, the Kennewick, has been delivered three months ahead of schedule.

The ferry, which can carry 64 cars, was built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland and Vigor Industrial (formerly Todd Pacific Shipyards) in Seattle. It is expected to go into service on the Coupeville (Keystone)-Port Townsend route in mid-January.

“This is a major milestone in our vessel replacement program,” said WSF Assistant Secretary David Moseley. “The Kwa-di Tabil-class is now complete. We’re elated that our partners at Vigor delivered the Kennewick three months ahead of schedule. That means our customers will get to enjoy a new vessel sooner.”

“We’re pleased to help renew and expand Washington’s ferry fleet,” said Kevin Quigley, president of Vigor’s U.S. Fab division. “And we’re proud to continue the 100-year history of fine shipbuilding around Puget Sound.”

The new ferry is being delivered today from Vigor’s Everett shipyard to WSF’s Eagle Harbor Maintenance Facility.

WSF officials said ferry crews will work on final outfitting until mid-November, when the Kennewick will move to a commercial shipyard for installation of additional rub rails, which protect the ferry when it lands.

Final outfitting of the vessel is planned for December, to be followed by crew training and sea trials.

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