All American Marine Delivers Whale Watching Boat to Puget Sound Express

Written by

Nick Blenkey

Swiftsure is the third AAM vessel ordered by whale-watching tour operator Puget Sound Express

Bellingham, Wash.-based All American Marine (AAM) delivered another whale-watching vessel to the Hanke family’s Puget Sound Express (PSE). This last ship, the Swiftsureis modeled after the model built by AAM and designed by Teknicraft Saratogadelivered spring 2018, but, at 77ft long, is slightly longer than the 73ft Saratoga.

whale watching ship
Swiftsure introduces Teknicraft’s signature integration of a wave breaker positioned between catamaran hulls

The hull design is complemented by Teknicraft’s signature integration of a wave breaker positioned between the catamaran’s hulls to break up wave action and provide reduced drag while improving passenger comfort. The vessel’s design provides all passengers with a smooth ride and comfort as the hull provides a cushioned effect when encountering the waves.

The USCG Subchapter T-certified high-speed catamaran whale-watching vessel has two asymmetric semi-planing hulls and an adjustable center aluminum hydrofoil along with two aluminum stern foils, which allow the boat to reach maximum speeds of over 40 knots. This design, coupled with finely tuned, wave-piercing eco-arcs, allows the boat to travel through calm and choppy waters at full cruising speed while minimizing underwater noise.

“This is another very special occasion for Puget Sound Express,” said co-owner Peter Hanke. “The Swiftsure is the third boat we have had the opportunity to build with All American Marine. Once again, this vessel exceeded all performance expectations while incorporating EPA Tier III engines. Despite numerous supply chain challenges during the build process, All American still delivered this exceptional vessel on time and on budget. They listened to us and, as they did on the first two ships, met or exceeded our needs. We are thrilled that our guests can enjoy the Puget Sound on board Swiftsure.”


The Swiftsure was designed from top to bottom for low fuel consumption at high speeds, a key factor in the success of the daily whale watching tours, which operate from Edmonds. Washington, a short drive north of downtown Seattle.

Bridge for Earthquake Observation Vessel
The Swiftsure Bridge

Its four Scania Di 16 083M engines, rated at 800 mhp at 2,300 rpm, power four HamiltonJet HJ364 waterjets, fitted with a state-of-the-art HamiltonJet AVX control system. .

AAM claims this system is unmatched in handling and fuel efficiency at higher speeds.

“During sea trials, we went out with a specifically loaded ship at full load, and the difference in fuel consumption between light load and full load was almost negligible,” said designer Nic De Waal. “We have done many years of research to develop a uniquely low wake vessel design, largely due to our unique hydrofoil system which does not displace as much water and create waves as is the case with the traditional shell design.”

Interior of whale watching vessel
Swiftsure Interior

Soundproofing details in the engine room ensure that the passenger cabin of the whale watching vessel is quiet and comfortable throughout the journey. The interior of the vessel is finished with state-of-the-art materials, including recyclable Ayres aluminum honeycomb wall panels and recyclable Dampa aluminum ceiling tiles with acoustic insulation that cover the master cabin as well as the interior cabin of the second bridge. Other amenities include ADA-friendly accommodation spaces, comfortable Beurteaux seating, three restrooms, and an expanded galley with a full-service passenger bar.

The Swiftsure is also equipped with seven HDTVs and a premium sound system with speakers inside and out for a fully immersive experience throughout the ship’s voyage.

rear view of whale watching ship

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