MV Samish

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MV Samish Arriving in Anacortes.jpg
Samish arriving in Anacortes in spring 2016.
Name: MV Samish
Owner: Washington State Department of Transportation
Operator: Washington State Ferries
Port of registry: Seattle, Washington, United States
Route: Anacortes–San Juan Islands
Ordered: Spring 2012
Builder: Vigor Industrial, Seattle, Washington
Cost: $126.45 million (approximate)[1]
Laid down: March 8, 2013
Launched: May 12, 2014
Christened: May 20, 2015
Completed: April 10, 2015
Maiden voyage: June 14, 2015
In service: June 14, 2015
Status: Operational
General characteristics
Class and type: Olympic-class auto/passenger ferry
Displacement: 4320 long tons at design load waterline
Length: 362 ft 3 in (110.4 m)*
Beam: 83 ft 2 in (25.3 m)*
Draft: 16 ft 6 in (5.0 m)*
Depth: 24 ft 6 in (7.5 m)*
  • 2 vehicle
  • 2 passenger (1 Passenger Cabin, 1 Sun Deck)
  • 1 crew
Deck clearance: 15 ft 6 in (4.7 m)*
Ramps: 4 (Fixed)
Installed power: Total 6,000 hp (4,500 kW) from 2 x EMD 12-710G7C Diesel Engines
Propulsion: Diesel Reduction (CPP)
Speed: 17-knot (31 km/h)
  • 1500 passengers
  • 144 vehicles
Crew: 14 (12 with Sun Deck closed)
Notes: All specifications are subject to change.
Samish parked at Colman Dock in Downtown Seattle shortly after she was accepted by Washington State Ferries in April 2015.
The M/V Samish rounds Lopez Island, heading for Anacortes from Friday Harbor. Taken from the M/V Hyak.

The MV Samish is the second vessel of the Olympic-class auto ferries built by Vigor Industrial for the Washington State Ferries system.[2] The vessel started service with her maiden voyage to Friday Harbor as the #3 Boat in the San Juans on June 14, 2015.


Funding for a second Olympic-class was authorized in the spring 2012 session of the Washington State Legislature and the keel laying and first weld took place on March 8, 2013.

The name Samish was decided by the Washington State Transportation Commission on November 13, 2012 (the same day of the naming of the MV Tokitae) after a public outreach process. The vessel is named after the Samish Indian Nation, a Coast Salish tribe whose name means “giving people”.[3]

On December 21, 2013, the ship's superstructure was rolled out from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and sent to Seattle on December 23 to be joined with the superstructure already under construction.

The Samish was accepted by Washington State Ferries on April 10, 2015 and was officially christened on May 20 in Anacortes. The ship underwent two months of sea trials and crew training before entering service on the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route at the start of the Summer 2015 sailing season on June 14 at 9:05am sailing from Anacortes to Friday Harbor.[4]

The Samish is also listed as one of the 10 Best Passenger Ships of 2015 (the year she was launched), on Marine Log.[5]


The Samish has is assigned to the Anacortes-San Juan Islands route. She has also served on the Mukilteo-Clinton, Edmonds-Kingston, and Seattle-Bremerton routes.


The Samish was pulled from service on February 21, 2016, after the discovery of a quarter-sized hole in the hull below the water line, later found during a drydock inspection to be linked to corrosion. The ferry was re-entered service on March 10 after some minor patchwork.[6]

On August 7, 2017, the Samish was removed from service due to a problem with the number two drive engine, causing the Anacortes/San Juan Islands route to be operated on an emergency four boat schedule until a replacement boat entered service.

Numbers and Ship Recognition[edit]

The Samish has three numbers used to identify it. The first is her IMO Number. The Samish's IMO Number is 9720251. Her MMSI (Marine Mobile Service Identity), 367649320. Her Radio Call Sign WDH7552. The Samish is owned by Washington State Ferries, a branch of the Washington State Department of Transportation. She is US Flagged, and listed as an AIS Passenger Vessel.[7]


  1. ^ Washington State Department of Transportation. "Ferries - Olympic Class (144-Car) Ferries". Retrieved 21 September 2014. Samish, the second 144-car ferry: The total cost of the vessel is approximately $126.45 million. 
  2. ^ "WSDOT - Project - Ferries - Olympic Class (144-Car) Ferries". 
  3. ^ Staff report (15 November 2012). "New state ferry named after Samish tribe". 
  4. ^ "Welcome aboard, Samish! New Olympic Class ferry joins WSF fleet". Washington State Ferries. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "10 Best Passenger Ships of 2015". Marine Log. 
  6. ^ Friedrich, Ed (February 25, 2016). "State's newest ferry has a hole in it". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Vessel Details for M/V Samish". MarineTraffic. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 

External links[edit]