Friday, May 15, 2015

BC Ferries Christens World’s Longest Cable Ferry

By Mark Edward Nero

British Columbia transportation service provider BC Ferries unveiled the name of its newest vessel, Baynes Sound Connector, at a special ceremony at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards on May 8. The new cable ferry is expected to join the BC Ferries’ fleet on the Buckley Bay – Denman Island route later this summer.

BC Ferries’ newest ship is named after the specific geographic area in which it will operate. The name Baynes Sound Connector reflects the channel that the ferry will be crossing, following with marine tradition for most cable ferries around the world.

The vessel measures 78.5 meters (257.5 feet) and can accommodate 50 vehicles and 150 passengers and crew. The cable ferry will operate with one drive cable and two guide cables. With a crossing of about 1,900 meters (6,233 feet) it is, for now, the longest cable ferry in the world, capable of speeds of 8.5 knots with a normal service speed of 7.5 knots.

Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO, called the christening “a special milestone” and thanked the Seaspan workers for producing “a fine vessel.”

“Seaspan has a deep-rooted and established relationship working with BC Ferries to build and repair ships for the people of British Columbia, and we are proud to construct, and officially christen its first-ever cable ferry,” Seaspan Shipyards President Brian Carter said.

The plan is for Baynes Sound Connector to be towed to Buckley Bay on Vancouver Island late May. In June and July, BC Ferries’ crews are scheduled to undergo training and familiarization on the cable ferry in preparation for passenger and vehicle service. After receiving certification from Transport Canada and classification society Lloyd’s Register, the cable ferry should enter service by late summer.