Marine Log

Intermediate ferry

July 7, 2006

BC Ferries orders at Vancouver Shipyards

BC Ferries says it has signed a C$45.5 million contract with Vancouver Shipyards, a Washington Marine Group company, to build a new 125-car intermediate size ferry.

Construction on the 100 m vessel will begin later this year and the ship is expected to enter service by the summer of 2008.

The new vessel will allow for the retirement of the 46-year old Queen of Tsawwassen.

"By updating the fleet we are building a better BC Ferries for our customers and the communities we serve," said David L. Hahn, BC Ferries President and CEO. The new ship will sail initially on the Earls Cove Saltery Bay route on the Sunshine Coast. The design of the vessel includes a comfortable lounge, a snack bar and a new state of the art lifesaving system.

The process for selecting the successful builder was started last year with 14 shipyards invited to participate in the prequalification process for the intermediate vessel, as a result of which, two Canadian shipyards and one international yard were short listed.

Last year, the three yards submitted bids in response to the Request for Proposals, and on September 20, 2005, BC Ferries signed a formal letter of intent with the Washington Marine Group.

"The new vessel is just one part of our commitment to keep pace with the needs and expectations of our customers," said Hahn. "Under the fixed price contract, the shipyard is responsible for the detailed design and construction of the vessel. The shipyard guarantees performance related to speed, carrying capacity, manoeuvrability, fuel consumption and delivery."

BC Ferries says the design of this new vessel underwent stringent test criteria including tank testing of the hull and simulated demonstration of handling characteristics.

New Intermediate Vessel Specifications:

Length 100 m
Breadth 27 m
Gross Tonnage approx 3.500
Car Capacity 125 vehicles
Passenger Capacity 600
Service Speed 14.5 knots

Four right angle drive (RAD) propulsion system