The 35 car Ferry as proposed by the County was basically just a replacement for the existing. Even on the Hales Pass route it represented only a slight improvement in carrying capacity. It would have been grossly undersized for any crossing of any distance, both in carrying capacity and seaworthiness.
The eighteen million dollar figure for a vessel to run to Bellingham is again grossly underestimated as are the specified run times. To meet the current level of service, a 100 car plus ferry would have to be obtained. The first of three new 64 car Ferries are under construction for the State of Washington, which would be too small to meet the LOS to Bellingham, barely inadequate to Fairhaven, their costs– 64 million for the first one, 57 million each for the next two. The State’s estimate for a 144 car Ferry to replace the failing Evergreen State was over 100 million. None of this takes into account the cost of at least 8 crew or the 1500 gallons of fuel these would burn a day, running to Bellingham. (Jim Dickinson)