50-foot Catamaran has been delivered to Lake Chelan

by Dennis Rahm

Backcountry Travel of Stehekin has taken delivery of a new 50-foot catamaran which will soon be providing additional ferry services on Lake Chelan. The 32-passenger boat, built by Thain Boatworks in Everett, is powered by twin 200-horsepower Suzuki outboards that will deliver a 15-20 knot cruising speed.

An effort has been underway for many years to get the additional ferry service approved and finally word came down in May of this year to Colter and Lindsey Courtney, the owners of Backcountry Travel, that the long-awaited commercial ferry application had been approved by the Utilities and Transportation Commission.

The catamaran was recently delivered to the Mill Bay Marina in Manson and reassembled in the parking lot. Albert Van Rooyen, who works in project development for Thain Boatworks, tells LakeChelanNow that the catamaran employs a unique design that is light and incredibly efficient.

Van Rooyen says the craft is built with a foam core composite construction and features airline seats for passengers.

The new ferry will be based in Stehekin and will be able to deliver passengers to and from Fields Point with the ability to service other locations along the route including Lucerne and Prince Creek.

The boat awaits State inspection before being put into service.