BC Ferries, the contract service provider responsible for ferry service along coastal British Columbia, has officially taken ownership of a new cable ferry, the Baynes Sound Connector. The vessel’s title was transferred from Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards in mid-November.
According to BC Ferries, the new cable ferry met or exceeded all contract specifications, during rigorous acceptance trials and testing conducted by Seaspan, including speed and lower fuel consumption compared to the Quinitsa, the vessel currently in service on the route.
“We are very pleased with the new cable ferry’s performance,” BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mike Corrigan said. “In operational trials, the vessel exceeded its maximum design speed of 8.5 knots fully loaded, achieving a speed of 8.7 knots, with crossing times consistent with the Quinitsa.”
“All speeds have been achieved on the designed one engine operation, and the second engine is there for complete redundancy,” Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering, explained. “The horsepower of one engine is approximately 490, compared to the Quinitsa, which has four engines at 475 horsepower each.”
The trials indicated significantly lower fuel consumption than the current vessel, he added.
BC Ferries says it will now conduct crew training and familiarization over the next eight weeks as the company prepares for full operational service. The Baynes Sound Connector is expected to be in full operational service in early February 2016. BC Ferries says passengers will continue to be served by the Quinitsa until the Baynes Sound Connector goes into service.