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Wanted: Names for New Washington State Ferries

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Construction of two new Olympic Class 144-car ferries is under way and the Washington State Transportation Commission invites people statewide to get involved by submitting name ideas for the boats.

Washington State Ferries has 23 vessels in its fleet and many have names reflecting the state’s tribal heritage. The most recently-named vessels in the Kwa-di Tabil Class – Chetzemoka, Salish and Kennewick – are in keeping with that tradition.

The commission will follow these guidelines to assess ferry name proposals:

  • Names should carry statewide significance and represent our state’s image and culture.
  • Specifically, names should represent such things as state-adopted symbols, tribal names, names of bodies of water, geographic locations, cities, counties, or relate to nautical heritage.
  • Consideration will be given to the consistency with existing WSF fleet names.
  • Names should have broad familiarity, are non‐offensive, and meet ethical standards.
  • Names with commercial overtones or names honoring or commemorating individuals should be avoided, but will be considered upon careful review.


Proposals must establish how the name conforms to the commission’s guidelines; provide background information on the proposed name; and demonstrate widespread public support, commonly done via local media stories, letters of support from local/regional/ state bodies and officials, or local petitions.


Naming proposals must be received by close of business Wednesday, Sept. 26. Proposals may be mailed or emailed to:

Washington State Transportation Commission

P.O. Box 47308

Olympia, WA 98504-7308


Final selection of the two vessel names will occur at the commission’s Nov. 13 meeting in Tacoma.

By the way, there is already a ferry named “Yakima”.


Additional information on ferry naming can be found on the commission website at:

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