The MV Chetzemoka, the new boat for the Port Townsend-Keystone run in Washington, will not only be the state’s first new ferry boat in a decade, but will also be the most expensive ferry built in the US.
With its 64 car capacity, this boat is small compared to the Steel Electric ferries used on the run until 2007, when the Secretary of Transportation removed them from service due to safety concerns. The new boat was built by Todd Pacific Shipyards based on designs for the Island Home ferry, which were purchased by the Washington State Ferries system for $1.3 million.
The total cost to build the ferry ended up being just over $80 million—more than the cost to build the three larger boats previously used on the run, each capable of carrying 202 cars. The excessive price is likely due to the fact that only in-state shipyards could legally be contracted to construct the boat.
The MV Chetzemoka will make its first run on Sunday, November 13, 2010.