King County and Vashon Island will officially welcome the M.V. Sally Fox to their water taxi family at 1 p.m. Saturday March 28.
King County is about to deliver a new addition to Vashon Island. She’s sleek, sturdy and stretches more than 100 feet. She’s high-tech, highly efficient - yet lightweight. And even though she’s young, she’ll have no problem replacing the Melissa Ann when she brings state-of the-art passenger-only ferry service to the island.
King County and Vashon Island will officially welcome the M.V. Sally Fox to their water taxi family at 1 p.m. Saturday March 28. The celebration and vessel dedication, hosted by King County Executive Dow Constantine and other dignitaries, will be held at the Vashon Island Water Taxi Dock. The dedication will be followed by refreshments, music and free rides on the Sally Fox until 4 p.m.
The Sally Fox is expected to be placed into active service in early April after a thorough crew familiarization and training program has been completed. The vessel is expected to arrive in Seattle today with training in Elliott Bay beginning as early as Monday and continuing over the next several weeks.
The M.V. Sally Fox is one of two new catamarans replacing the Melissa Ann and Rachel Marie – 27 year-old leased boats that have been operating from Vashon Island and West Seattle to downtown Seattle since 2010. A third vessel, the Spirit of Kingston, will remain part of the county’s water taxi fleet.
Bellingham-based All American Marine was awarded a contract to design and build the new water taxis. The second vessel, the M. V. Doc Maynard, is expected to be delivered this fall.
The new vessel operating the Vashon Island/downtown Seattle route will carry 250 passengers, 78 more than the Melissa Ann. The added capacity means more passengers will be able to use the water taxi during the busiest weekday commute periods.
The Sally Fox has been funded almost entirely by federal grants and will allow the county to provide more reliable and cost-effective service.
The vessel has a host of amenities, including indoor and outdoor seating, ADA accessible bathrooms and wheelchair tie downs, space for 26 bicycles and six video screens that will display safety, schedule and trip information.
Water taxi riders and island residents will have a chance to experience the boat in action following the dedication ceremony. A shuttle will be available to bring guests from adjacent parking lots to the water taxi dock. For more information, visit the King County Water Taxi website.