State seeks name for ferry under construction

Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIA — The state is seeking a name for the next 144-car ferry.

The ferry, the third in the Olympic Class, is under construction at Vigor Industrial in Seattle and is expected to be completed in early 2017.

It is destined for the San Juan Islands route, said Hadley Rodero, project spokeswoman for Washington State Ferries.

It will replace the Tillikum, which will become a spare vessel, she said.

The state Transportation Commission has invited people from across the state to submit ideas for the new boat’s name.

Ferry name proposals will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12.

After a public comment process, the Transportation Commission is expected to select a name Nov. 19.

The state ferries system has a budget of $383.6 million to build three 144-car ferries.

Tokitae, the first 144-car ferry, cost $144 million. It was put into service on the Mukilteo/Clinton route June 30.

Samish, the second 144-car ferry, cost about $126.45 million. It is expected to be put into service in early 2015. The route assignment has not been determined, according to the state ferries website.

No estimate on the cost of the third ferry was available.

Tokitae is a greeting meaning “nice day, pretty colors” and is also the name of an orca from state waters who is at the Miami Sequarium. The orca is better known as Lolita.

Samish is a tribal word meaning “giving people.”

The state is building the new ferries to replace the 1950s-era Evergreen State Class ferries.

Naming guidelines

The commission’s guidelines for assessing ferry name proposals is:

■ Names for ferries should carry statewide significance, referring to such things as state-adopted symbols, tribal names, names of bodies of water, geographic locations, cities, counties or things relating to a nautical heritage.

■ Consideration will be given to the consistency with existing Washington State Ferries fleet names.

■ Names should have broad familiarity, be inoffensive and meet ethical standards.

■ Names with commercial overtones or names honoring or commemorating individuals should be avoided but will be considered upon very careful review.

All submittals must conform with the guidelines, provide background information on the proposed name and provide indications of widespread public support, commonly done via media stories, letters of support from local/regional/ state bodies and officials, local petitions and any other appropriate supportive information.

Submittals can be sent to P.O. Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308, or to

For more information on ferry naming, visit the commission website,

Last modified: July 19. 2014 4:27PM
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