Editor's Note: This is our first in a series of blogs from Chip Hanauer, The Boat Guy. Enjoy!

I’m a native Seattlelite. Ferries are part of our history and for many of us, part of our daily routine. Ferries have been moving people, vehicles and, “stuff” in general for many generations around here. We take our ferries seriously and we have a great deal of pride in them. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Washington is the only state that provides "yachts" for all of its citizens.

Washington ferry underway

Washington ferries are built right in Seattle. Photo: Vigor Industrial.

Whenever you see a national broadcast from Seattle, they always show the ferries making their way across Puget Sound. So when we get a new one, like the recently built Olympic class M/V Tokitae, we all get very excited. Ferries get better, more fuel efficient and more comfortable with each new generation. The Tokitae is 362 feet long and can carry 1500 passengers and 144 vehicles. She's running two locomotive engines adapted for marine use that total 6,000 horsepower, which translates to a top speed of 17 knots. She's so modern, she doesn't even have a wheel—just joysticks to steer her.

Here's the video we filmed on site at Vigor Industrial, right here in Seattle, where the Tokitae was built and launched:

I was privileged to get on the Tokitae before she went into service, and now I’m hopeful she gets put on my usual route. Nothing like a quiet beautiful commute on a brand new ride across the Sound, with a nice cold beer or glass of wine in hand. Especially when the whales come alongside to say hello.