Passengers disembark from the King County Water Taxi at Pier 50 in Downtown Seattle.
801 Alaskan Way (at the foot of Yesler Street)
Seattle, WA 98104
Pier 50 has ticket vending machines, snack machines, a covered passenger waiting area, and portable restrooms. Pier 52, a Washington State Ferries terminal one block to the north, has many additional amenities including an indoor passenger waiting area, restrooms, restaurants, espresso stand, and an ATM machine.
There is no parking available at Pier 50. There are paid lots available in the area, and metered parking on nearby streets.
There is one three-minute load/unload zone across from Pier 52, under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, where you may pick up or drop off passengers. When using this loading zone, drivers must remain with their vehicles.
The MV Sally Fox passes Alki Point on the way to the Vashon Terminal.
Watch the Sally Fox being built
Watch the dedication ceremony
The first of the King County Water Taxi’s two new vessels, the MV Sally Fox, was dedicated in a March 28 ceremony by County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, and other luminaries. Some 350 people joined in the celebration, which included live music and free rides on the new boat.
After a public vote, the vessel was named for longtime Vashon resident Sally Willinger Fox, who was a passionate advocate for the preservation of passenger-only ferry service between Vashon Island and downtown Seattle. According to a plaque on the vessel that honors Fox, she “understood that passenger-only service enhances Islanders’ family lives, protects the environment, reduces congestion and contributes to the health, vibrancy, and fun of Vashon and Maury Islands.”
The Melissa Ann was built for the U.S. Army in 1988 at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders on Whidbey Island.
The Melissa Ann is a catamaran that holds 172 passengers, 18 bicycles, and a crew of three. With a cruising speed of 28 knots, she crosses between Vashon and downtown Seattle in about 22 minutes.
Inside, the Melissa Ann has a combination of theater-style seats, bench seats with tables, and facing seats. She also has an air conditioning/heating system and restrooms, and some outdoor seating on the upper deck.
The Melissa Ann has two 1,400 horsepower propulsion engines that meet Tier 1 pollution standards. The vessel also is equipped with two radar systems, a GPS plotter, a depth sounder, and an automated information system transponder. At cruising speed, the Melissa Ann uses a maximum of 120 gallons of fuel per hour. She is inspected annually by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The King County Ferry District is leasing the MV Melissa Ann from Four Seasons Marine Services for the Vashon Island/Downtown Seattle route.
Length: 77 ft.
Beam: 29 ft.
Draft (deepest): 5 ft.
Weight: 47 tons
Diesel oil: 1,100 gal.
Potable water: 250 gal.
Holding tank (sewage): 200 gal.
Holding tank (bilge water): 50 gal.
Compared to the vessel that was previously used on this route (the Skagit), the Melissa Ann’s propulsion system has less impact on bottom sediment and creates a smaller wake.
The vessel’s exhaust is routed through mufflers and discharged between the hulls to minimize noise.