MV Tokitae

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MV Tokitae en route from Clinton to Mukilteo.
Name: Tokitae
Owner: Washington State Department of Transportation
Operator: Washington State Ferries
Port of registry: Seattle, WA, United States
Ordered: 2011
Builder: Vigor Shipyards, Seattle, Washington
Cost: $144 million[1]
Laid down: March 29, 2012
Launched: July 19, 2013
Christened: March 20, 2014
Maiden voyage: June 30, 2014
In service: June 30, 2014
Status: In service
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 crew
Deck clearance: 15 ft 6 in (4.7 m)
Installed power: Total 6,000 hp (4,500 kW) from 2 x EMD 12-710G7C Diesel Engines
Speed: 17-knot (31 km/h)
  • 1500 passengers
  • 144 vehicles (max 30 commercial)
Crew: 14

The MV Tokitae is an Olympic-class passenger ferry operated by Washington State Ferries which entered service on June 30, 2014. It serves the Mukilteo-Clinton route.


On November 13, 2012, the Washington State Transportation Commission named the ferry Tokitae. Tokitae is a colloquial greeting that means "nice day, pretty colors" in the language of the Coast Salish indigenous people. It is also the name of an orca captured at Penn Cove, Whidbey Island, which was renamed "Lolita" and now performs at the Miami Seaquarium.[2]

M/V Tokitae Departing Mukilteo



The contracts for the Tokitae were signed on November 1, 2011,[3] and its keel was laid on March 29, 2012.[4]

The Tokitae's hull was rolled out of the Vigor construction building onto a drydock on March 2, 2013. It was joined by the completed superstructure the following week; it was built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland, a community on Whidbey Island.[5]

The ferry was floated out of its dry dock and launched in Elliott Bay on July 19, 2013.[6] The Tokitae was christened by state Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson on March 20, 2014 at Vigor, during a ceremony opened to the media, officials and workers.[7]


The official public unveiling occurred on June 8, 2014, at the Clinton ferry terminal.[8] The ferry made its maiden voyage on June 30, 2014.[9] The Tokitae's first week of service was marred by a hydraulic leak and a design flaw that caused cars to scrape against the car ramps.[10]

On April 13, 2015, with 174 passengers on board, the Tokitae lost one of its engines and went dead in the water for about an hour. The vessel used a tug to get to Mukilteo where the passengers disembarked.[11] The Tokitae then drifted around Possession Sound until the problem was fixed.

The Tokitae had lost propulsion a total of 18 times in its first 13 months, causing frequent delays. Regular passengers quipped that "If there's a delay, it's probably the Tokitae".[11]


  1. ^ "Olympic Class (144-Car) Ferries". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  2. ^ "Two new ferries named Samish, Tokitae". The Everett Herald. Associated Press. November 13, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  3. ^ Moseley, David (November 4, 2011). "Construction to start on new 144-car ferry" (PDF) (Press release). Washington State Ferries. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  4. ^ Moseley, David (March 30, 2012). "144-car ferry milestone" (PDF) (Press release). Washington State Ferries. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "Nichols Brothers Boat Builders Launch 144-Car Washington State Ferry Superstructure" (PDF) (Press release). Nichols Brothers Boat Builders. March 12, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  6. ^ Friedrich, Ed (October 19, 2013). "Smoother sailing on construction of 144-car ferries". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  7. ^ Van Bronkhorst, Erin (March 20, 2014). "State's newest ferry, Tokitae, is christened at Seattle shipyard". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  8. ^ Haglund, Noah (June 8, 2014). "Whidbey Island welcomes new ferry Tokitae". The Everett Herald. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Friedrich, Ed (June 30, 2014). "Tokitae begins service this week with problematic ramps". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  10. ^ Provenza, Nick (July 1, 2014). "Some cars scrape on new Washington ferry Tokitae". The Columbian. Associated Press. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Horcher, Gary (April 15, 2015). "Ferry Tokitae loses power with 173 passengers on board". KIRO 7 News. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
M/V Tokitae en route to Clinton, Whidbey Island.

External links[edit]