MV Hiyu

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Name: MV Hiyu
Owner: WSDOT
Operator: Washington State Ferries
Port of registry: Seattle, Washington,  United States
Completed: 1967
Identification: Official Number: 508159
Call Sign: WX9133[1]
Status: In Service
General characteristics
Class and type: Hiyu Class auto/passenger ferry
Length: 162 ft (49.4 m)
Beam: 63 ft 1 in (19.2 m)
Draft: 11 ft 3 in (3.4 m)
Deck clearance: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Installed power: Total 860 hp from 2 diesel engines
Speed: 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Capacity: 200 passengers
34 vehicles (max 12 commercial)[2]

The MV Hiyu is a ferry boat operated by Washington State Ferries.

The Hiyu was originally built in 1967 in Portland, Oregon to replace the aging MV Skansonia on the Point Defiance-Tahlequah run. For nearly her entire career she worked the short route between Vashon Island and Tacoma, but was eventually replaced due to increasing traffic.

Washington State Ferries reassigned her to the San Juan Islands where she served as the inter-island boat, serving San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Shaw Island and Lopez Island. The Hiyu's small size became an issue once again on the San Juan route, and that route was taken over by a larger vessel. The MV Nisqually replaced her.

She was mothballed for over 10 years at Washington State Ferry's Eagle Harbor facility. During that period, she was used as a WSF training vessel. She was contracted out for service for a time at Anderson Island when the MV Christine Anderson needed emergency repairs. She has been used in some movies and television commercials.

Because of her one-compartment design, the ferry cannot cross charted traffic lanes, nor be more than a mile from shore, which limits her use.

On June 13, 2007, Washington State Ferries put the Hiyu in service once again due to a shortage of operational ferries. She has recently operated on a relief basis on the Point Defiance - Tahlequah route and on the San Juan Island inter-island route.


  1. The Hiyu,
  2. Vessel information, WSF, WSDOT