MV Chelan

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MV Chelan in the San Juan Islands
Name: MV Chelan
Owner: WSDOT
Operator: Washington State Ferries
Port of registry: Seattle, Washington,  United States
Builder: Marine Power and Equpiment, Seattle
Completed: 1981
Refit: 2004
Identification: Official Number: 643291
Call Sign: WRA9001[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Issaquah 130 Class auto/passenger ferry
Length: 328 ft (100.0 m)
Beam: 78 ft 8 in (24.0 m)
Draft: 15 ft 6 in (4.7 m)
Deck clearance: 15 ft 6 in (4.7 m)
Installed power: Total 5,000 hp from 2 diesel engines
Speed: 16 kn (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Capacity: 1076 passengers
124 vehicles (max 26 commercial)[2]

The MV Chelan is a Issaquah 130 Class ferry operated by Washington State Ferries.


The Chelan was built in 1981, as an Issaquah Class ferry, for service on the Edmonds-Kingston Route. In the early 2000s, newer ferries were built for the Seattle routes, moving the former boats to Edmonds-Kingston. As a result, the Chelan began to serve as replacement ferry. Many of the routes she would serve, she would be replacing an Issaquah 130 ferry, causing service disruptions by carrying fewer vehicles. In 2004, she was refit, much like her sister ships to include a second vehicle deck along the outer bulkheads. After changes in Coast Guard rules required SOLAS requirements for International Travel, the Chelan was upgraded to meet the SOLAS, or Safety Of Life At Sea, standards in 2005. This also coincided with the modification of the interior layout of the Chelan to match that of its sister-ships, which began to have their spartan interiors upgraded in the early 2000s, the exception on the Chelan is the addition of a Duty Free area onboard for the international crossings.


Depending of the time of year, Chelan may be found on nearly any WSF route. During the winter months, she is usually found on the Mukilteo-Clinton route, or on the Fauntleroy-Southworth-Vashon route. During early spring, and late fall, Chelan is often the ferry making the International Crossing to Sidney, BC.


  1. The Issaquahs today, part 2,
  2. Vessel information, WSF, WSDOT