MV Hyak

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Hyak passing Flat Point 04.JPG
The MV Hyak in Upright Channel, in between Lopez Island and Shaw Island
Name: MV Hyak
Owner: WSDOT
Operator: Washington State Ferries
Port of registry: Seattle, Washington,  USA
Route: Relief Vessel
Ordered: 1966
Builder: National Steel and Shipbuilding Company shipyard, San Diego, California
Cost: $6,500,000
Laid down: 1966
Launched: December 17, 1966
Christened: December 17, 1966
Completed: 1967
Acquired: July 4, 1967
Maiden voyage: July 19, 1967
In service: July 20, 1967
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Super-class auto/passenger ferry
  • 2,704 gross-tonnage
  • 1,214 net-tonnage
Displacement: 3634 (weight in long tons)
Length: 382 ft 2 in (116.5 m)
Beam: 73 ft 2 in (22.3 m)
Draft: 18 ft 6 in (5.6 m)
Decks: 5
Deck clearance: 15 ft 6 in (4.7 m)
Installed power: Total 8,000 hp from 4 x Diesel-Electric engines
Propulsion: Diesel-Electric (DC)
Speed: 17 kn (31 km/h)
  • 2500 passengers
  • 160 vehicles (max 30 commercial)
Hyak seen approaching Lopez Island from the MV Samish.
The Hyak departs Bremerton with her 9:45 AM sailing to Seattle.

The MV Hyak is a Super-class ferry operated by Washington State Ferries. Built in 1966 at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company shipyard in San Diego, the ferry began service on July 20, 1967 and normally runs on the Seattle–Bremerton route or the Anacortes–San Juan Islands run.

Hyak is chinook jargon for "speedy".[1]


The Hyak was built by the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company of San Diego, California in 1966, at a cost of $6.5 million. It was launched and christened by Nancy Evans, wife of Governor Daniel J. Evans, on December 17, 1966.[2] The vessel traveled north along the Pacific Coast in June 1967, but was delayed by a severe storm near San Francisco, California broke a temporary breakwater.[3] She arrived in Seattle on July 4, several days later than scheduled, and was moved to the Todd Shipyards for repairs.[4]

The ferry was not able to enter service after arrival because of an ongoing labor dispute with the local chapter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. The union argued that the wage agreement it signed with Washington State Ferries did not cover new, larger vessels like the Hyak. The dispute reached the King County Superior Court, where a judge signed an injunction ordering the ferry to be manned on its first run on July 19.[5] The Hyak entered service that afternoon, and was assigned to the Seattle–Bremerton route, cutting the crossing time from 65 minutes to 45.[6][7] The next day, the ferry made its first scheduled run and nearly rammed Pier 52 in Seattle after an engine failure.[8][9]

Unlike her sisters, the Hyak has not had her cabin refurbished.[10]

She is still a steady runner however, being one of the most trouble-free boats of the fleet.[citation needed] Hyak is chinook jargon for "speedy".[11]

In June 2015, the Hyak was replaced by the MV Samish in the third sailing spot in the San Juans. The Hyak moved to the Seattle–Bremerton route to spend the rest of her life at WSF in calmer waters. The Hyak has returned to the San Juans a few times to replace vessels when maintenance is required; however, the Hyak is now a standby vessel rotating throughout the fleet as needed. As of the Fall of 2016, the Hyak was planned to be retired in 2018 following the arrival of the Suquamish,[12] however she is now expected to remain in service at least into 2019.

On August 22, 2018 the vessel was taken out of service due to emergency engine repairs. This canceled the services to Sidney, BC as well as cancelling some anacortes - San Juan Island routes.


Since June 2017, the Hyak is a relief boat and most frequently serves the Seattle–Bremerton route and the Anacortes–San Juan Islands route.[13][14] She has also appeared on the Edmonds–Kingston route and the Seattle–Bainbridge Island route during vessel shortages.[15]


On April 14, 1986, the Hyak ran aground in Anacortes, Washington after a navigational error made by the crew, placing the ferry in shallow water above a reef. Only one injury was reported of the 250 people on board, but the ferry sustained damage that cost $250,000 to repair.[16][17][18]

On September 13, 2013, the Hyak collided with a private 27-foot-long (8.2 m) sailboat between Orcas and Shaw islands. No one was injured. The sailboat, however, was damaged and sank about 20 minutes after the accident.[19]


  1. ^ "M/V Hyak". Washington State Ferries. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  2. ^ "1 Ferry Launched, 2 More Started". The Seattle Times. December 18, 1966. p. 34.
  3. ^ "New Ferry Will Miss Her Starting Date". The Seattle Times. June 27, 1967. p. 10.
  4. ^ "Superferry Here; Service Date Uncertain". The Seattle Times. July 4, 1967. p. 42.
  5. ^ "Judge Orders Union to Man Superferry". The Seattle Times. July 19, 1967. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Operators, Passengers Agree: Hyak's Great!". The Seattle Times. July 20, 1967. p. 6.
  7. ^ Hannula, Don (July 16, 1967). "Superferry Hyak May—Or May Not—Make 1st Run Tomorrow". The Seattle Times. p. 44.
  8. ^ "New Superferry Almost Rams Pier As Engines Die". The Seattle Times. July 20, 1967. p. 1.
  9. ^ Stein, Alan J. (March 4, 2001). "Ferry Hyak enters service on July 20, 1967". HistoryLink. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "The Super class today". Evergreen Fleet. Archived from the original on December 14, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  11. ^ "M/V Hyak". Washington State Ferries. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Friedrich, Ed (April 28, 2001). "Hyak returning to Bremerton". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  14. ^ Lee Carlaw, Rex (February 13, 2009). "Back home on the Hyak". Kingston Community News. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "Hyak to help Kingston/Edmonds out of a jam". North Kitsap Herald. August 3, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "Ferry runs aground at Anacortes—300 aboard; 1 passenger". The Seattle Times. April 14, 1986. p. A1.
  17. ^ "Ferry's first mate is suspended". The Seattle Times. April 29, 1986. p. D1.
  18. ^ Nadler, Eric; Guillen, Tomas (April 17, 1986). "Grounding of Hyak laid to navigation". The Seattle Times. p. B2.
  19. ^ "Sailboat sinks in San Juans after crash with state ferry". KIRO 7 News. September 13, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2016.

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