Friday, December 12, 2014

BC Ferry to Undergo $12 Million Upgrade

By Mark Edward Nero

The ferry Queen of Capilano will undergo a $12 million mid-life upgrade from Jan. 5 to May 5, 2015 to prepare the vessel for another 20 years of service, owner British Columbia Ferry Services said Dec. 5.

The refit work will be carried out at Esquimalt Drydocking Co. in Victoria, British Columbia. Highlights of the vessel’s extensive upgrade are to include the following safety, mechanical and customer service improvements:
  • Installation of gallery decks: increasing capacity from about 85 to 100 vehicles.
  • Installation of a new entrance/exit for walk-on passengers in the upper lounge.
  • Installation of a new evacuation system and replacement of the rescue boat.
  • Installation of a pet area.
  • Complete elevator system overhaul.
  • Upgrade of stairwell and disabled washroom.
  • Upgrade of the ship intercom and public address system.
“A significant upgrade such as the one the Queen of Capilano is undergoing allows BC
Ferries to operate a more efficient vessel for decades into the future,” Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering, said.

The vessel Bowen Queen is scheduled to provide service on the Bowen Island-Horseshoe Bay route for the duration of the upgrade.

Since the vehicle capacity of the Bowen Queen is lower than that of the Queen of Capilano, BC Ferries says it will provide additional services to help mitigate the potential for overloads, including a direct-to-downtown bus shuttle, discounted parking at Horseshoe Bay terminal, additional sailings and assured loading for high-occupancy vehicles during key afternoon commuter sailings to Bowen Island.