The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “classic” as: serving as a standard of excellence; used to describe something that has come to be considered one of the best of its kind; historically memorable; fashionable year after year. Whether applying “classic” to the MV Coho or to Captain John Cox, CEO, Black Ball Ferry Line Inc., the adjective fits perfectly. For Captain Cox, his experience, knowledge of the passenger vessel and ferry industry worldwide, and his reputation for sage consultations, put him in a class of his own; for the MV Coho, the impeccably maintained, stylishly designed and well-built vessel is also in a class of her own.
Cox, along with partners Ryan Burles (President & COO), David Booth (CFO), Rian Anderson (Vice President, Terminals), Ryan Malane (Vice President, Marketing), and a crew that are considered more like family than employees, operate the Coho between Victoria, British Columbia, and Port Angeles, Washington — a route she has been on continuously since December 1959.
Designed by Philip Spaulding & Associates for Black Ball Ferry owner Robert Acheson, and built at the Puget Sound Bridge and Drydock Company for a cost of US$3 million, the Coho is the last American-flagged ship privately owned and operating an international service for passengers and freight. She is also one of the last ships in the Pacific Northwest where crew live aboard (with quarters at the top of the vessel no less); and she was the prototype for the first vessels for B.C.’s ferry system and the Alaska Marine Highway system. Black Ball continues a relationship with Mr. Spaulding’s group in Seattle, now named Elliott Bay Design Company.
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