BREMERTON — Chimacum was chosen as the name for the newest Washington state ferry because workers and the state Transportation Commission wanted to avoid any possible confusion that would arise from having another ferry that begins with S.
The commission selected the name at its meeting Wednesday in Lakewood.
Construction on the $123 million ferry begins this fall at the Vigor Industrial shipyard in Seattle, the Kitsap Sun reported. Delivery is expected in 2017, and it’s projected to go on the Bremerton-Seattle route.
Chimacum is a tribal name, following the tradition for most state ferries. It will be the third new 144-car ferry after the Samish and Tokitae. The fleet also has the 64-car ferry Salish.
With the names Sammamish, Suquamish, Chimacum and Cowlitz under consideration, ferry employees said the state has enough S boats.
“The most important thing they told us was they wanted to avoid S names,” director Lynne Griffith told the commission.
Although Cowlitz had some support, the commission went for Chimacum.
“We were particularly concerned about Sammamish,” Griffith said later. “That would’ve been real confusing with the Samish. There were a lot of people supportive of Chimacum. It’s a fun name to say.”
There’s a chance another name will be needed in the not-too-distant future. The ferry system has submitted a request to fund a fourth 144-car vessel, Griffith said.