Two yards win Canadian Coast Guard vessel life extension contracts

Written by Nick Blenkey
Vessel set for vessel life extension overhaul

CCGS Martha L. Black, one of two Canadian Coast Guard vessels set for vessel life extension work

Verrault Navigation Inc., Les Méchins, Quebec, and Newdock,St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, have been awarded contracts for the vessel life extension (VLE) of CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley, respectively, at the value of CAD 31.5 million and CAD 29.7 million. Both vessels will be dry-docked and enter an extended maintenance period designed to increase their operational life.

The contracts were awarded following an open competitive process, by Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard.

A light multitasked icebreaker and buoy tender, the CCGS Martha L. Black is primarily responsible for aids to navigation and buoy tending work in the St. Lawrence region during the warmer months of the year. During winter months, the vessel performs ice escorts and the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers, playing an integral role in keeping Canada’s major waterways navigable year round. The CCGS Leonard J. Cowley is an Offshore Patrol Vessel based in St Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador. While the vessel’s primary task is fisheries patrol and enforcement, the vessel also carries out search and rescue operations when needed.


The CCGS Martha L. Black is homeported in Quebec City, Quebec and was originally commissioned in 1986. The ship has been serving Canadians in the St. Lawrence region since its commissioning, ensuring that waterways remain open and navigable.

The CCGS Leonard J. Cowley entered into service in 1984 and has been carrying out fisheries enforcement operations from its home port in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The vessel is equipped with a flight deck capable of operating a light helicopter.

The vessel life extension work for CCGS Martha L. Black includes:

  • Main engine replacement
  • Helicopter hanger steel work renewal
  • Main deck and boat deck steel replacement
  • Internal communication system replacement
  • Hazardous material removal
  • Hull sandblasting and painting
  • Wheelhouse window maintenance

The vessel life extension work for CCGS Leonard J. Cowley includes:

  • Deck equipment replacement and refurbishment
  • Propulsion upgrades
  • Steel work
  • Accommodation refurbishment
  • Hanger and flight operations refurbishments
  • Ventilation system upgrades

While the ships undergo vessel life extension from spring 2023 through summer 2024, the Canadian Coast Guard says it will “reallocate other maritime resources to ensure Canada’s waterways continue to be safe for all seafarers.”

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