Zero-Emission Passenger Ferry for Puget Sound

  • Collaborators:
    Bieker Boats
    Kitsap Transit
    Washington Maritime Blue
  • Project Type:
    Vessel Design & Modification, Passenger Vessels
  • Service Categories:
    Naval Architecture
    Marine Engineering
    Marine Electrical & Controls Engineering
  • Vessel Overview:
    High-speed carbon fiber passenger ferry
  • Challenge:
    Develop a design for a commercially viable, zero-emissions passenger ferry capable of reliable service on Puget Sound and worldwide.


In 2020, Glosten formed a partnership with Bieker Boats, Kitsap Transit, DNV, and other public agencies to accelerate ferry technology through a joint innovation project led by Washington Maritime Blue. The project aimed to speed the design of a zero-emission, high-speed passenger ferry for operation in the Puget Sound. The vessel concept, known as Foil Ferry, was designed by Glosten and Bieker Boats, a performance marine craft designer.

Kitsap Transit identified a potential Foil Ferry route for their operations and sponsored the team’s application for additional funding to advance the concept. Together the JIP pursued a grant from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and secured an award of $600,000 from the Accelerating Innovative Mobility Initiative in cash and in-kind contributions.

FF Mar 2022 FrontR


With funding from the FTA, Glosten and Bieker Boats matured Foil Ferry to the preliminary design level. All aspects of the design were advanced, including hydrofoils, collision absorption system, passenger and pilothouse arrangement, and the all-electric energy storage and propulsion system. Glosten developed a detailed cost estimate with input from shipyards and composites manufacturers. The resulting design has a range of 30 nm, more than enough to transit from Bremerton to Seattle and back between charges.


Beyond design development, the team supported studies on route viability, shoreside infrastructure design, permitting and regulatory requirements, and economic and environmental impacts. The culmination of the project was a Foil Ferry business model that can be leveraged by Kitsap Transit and ferry owners and operators nationally and abroad.

  • Need to Crop

    Rendering of the Foil Ferry midway through preliminary design.

  • Foil Ferry Front STBD Composites R3

    Interior layout of Foil Ferry in the early stages of preliminary design.

  • Underdeck colored

    Machinery space layout of Foil Ferry in the early stages of preliminary design.