Class: Olympic Year built: 2015 Passenger Capacity: 1,500 Vehicle capacity: 144 Auto Deck Height: 8'
Tall vehicle clearance height: 16' Number of side-by-side- motorhomes: 3
Length: 362' 3" Beam: 82' 2" Draft: 18' Propulsion: 2 diesel engines Horsepower: 6,000 Speed: 17 knots
Name translation: Named after the tribe (now considered extinct and exact meaning unknown)
Photos courtesy of Brandon Swan.
Third in the Olympic Class is the M/V Chimacum, which jumped into service a few months early in May, 2017 when the Kitsap faced and unexpected breakdown. Still missing
some fittings and with a incomplete galley, the ferry nonetheless proved herself and prevented the run from being reduced to one vessel. After another vessel was made
available, the Chimacum left the route to finish up her fitting out.
A short time later the ferry joined the Brmerton route officially, and has been working steadily since, with only a short stint away from the route filling in on the Mukilteo run. She
is most often paired with the Kaleetan or Walla Walla.
Oh, those pesky windows...
In an effort to preserve the ferries fittings and also spare the passengers from
harmful UV rays, the Olympic Class ferries have had "low-e" or "low emissivity"
glass installed on the vessels as a way of lowering energy costs and to keep
the damaging rays from causing upholstery and tile from premature aging.
The windows are fulfilling that purpose, but it appears they have also had an
unexpected consquence--blocking wifi.
Rich Passage has always had lousy coverage--from just outside Orchard
Rocks to Waterman Point you can pretty much forget it--but it seems the
Olympic Class's window are having an even worse effect on a signal that was,
at best, somewhat mediocre to start with.
The state plans to put a booster on board to the tune of some $20K, but no
one is certain if it'll work. The booster was not installed on the Chimacum this
spring as her maintenance period was taken up with warranty work, but it is
hope that the booster will be installed sometime in 2019.
The Samish hasn't had similar complaints because wifi coverage in the San
Juans is nearly non-existent anyway.