Official Number: D1061310 Call Sign: WCY7938 Length: 460' 2'' Beam: 90' Draft: 17' 3'' Auto Deck Clearance: 16' Horsepower: 13,200 Speed in Knots: 18
Max Passengers: 2500 Max Vehicles: 202 City Built: Seattle Year Built/Re-built: 1999
Name Translation: From the Puyallup language: "generous people." The Puyallup tribe had a reputation for generosity in dealing with traders and travelers. Early settler Ezra Meeker
renamed his town from Franklin in 1877 looking for something unique. Besides the tribe and town, the name "Puyallup" is also used for a river and a glacier on Mount Rainier.
Morning sun on the Puyallup en route to Edmonds. Photo by the author.
|Perhaps the best of the trio, the Puyallup's passenger cabin is slightly set apart by the use of red
in the floor tile. Photo courtesy of I. S. Black. At right, the cabin has undergone some minor
upgrades, with some upholstery being replaced.
The last of the Mark II trio was finished early and went into service in 1999
as planned. The M/V Puyallup was sent to the Kingston-Edmonds route
where the larger car carrying capacity was greatly needed.
Still under construction when the vibration problem was uncovered with her
sisters, the Puyallup benefited from having the problem corrected while still
being built instead of retrofitted like the other two. As a result, the
Puyallup is the quietest, smoothest running ferry of the three.
The name Puyallup is not one that readily slips off the tongue.
Pronounced PEW-AL-UP, and while certainly of noble meaning and an
accurate reflection of the tribe, it does manage to cross-up tourists who do
not routinely speak the numerous Native American names in Washington
State. ( And as a result can be quite entertaining to those of us who grew
up around here and have been hearing names like Puyallup, Twisp, Sol
Duc and geoduck all our lives.)
The Puyallup has been on the Kingston-Edmonds run for most of her
career, though as noted she will move south when one of her sisters is "in
the shop" for annual maintenance. The vessel is the largest ever to work
the Kingston-Edmonds route and for a short time she made short work of
full parking lots and back ups on either side of the run. However it was
short-lived. Traffic quickly caught up. The Kingston-Edmonds route not
only gets a lot of traffic from the north end of Kitsap County but practically
all of the north end of the Olympic Peninsula as well.
Plans for a fourth Mark II were brought up in the state legislature, but
never made it. A fourth Mark II couldn't readily be justified as the boats are
really only capable of working two routes. In the reassessment of the
fleet, it was determined that ferries carrying about 145 cars and 2,500
passengers would fit readily in to nearly any route, from the San Juans to
Vashon Island. The idea of a fourth Mark II was quietly dropped.
There were some collective sighs of relief. Allegedly the fourth Mark II that
was going to be named Sequim-- a name that still sparks arguments by its
own residents on how to pronounce correctly.
Just shy of her 10th birthday the Puyallup went in for a much needed
painting. With security systems and Wifi updated, the ferry went back to
work on the Kingston-Edmonds route where her absence had been greatly
missed for many months.