News: Denman Island cable ferry named

Times Colonist - May 9, 2015

B.C. Ferries has christened the newest addition to its fleet, a $15-million cable ferry that will run between Buckley Bay on Vancouver Island and Denman Island.

Unveiled Friday during a ceremony at Seaspan’s shipyard in North Vancouver, the Baynes Sound Connector was named for the channel between the two islands on its route.

One of the world’s largest cable ferries, it will arrive shortly in Buckley Bay, where three cables have been installed.

Ferries crews will be trained in June and July to operate the vessel.

The 258-foot-long cable ferry is slated to start service this summer after receiving certification from Transport Canada and the classification society Lloyd’s Register, a joint Seaspan-B.C. Ferries statement said.

It will have room for 150 passengers and 50 vehicles. The ferry will cross a distance of 6,234 feet and will be capable of reaching speeds of 8.5 knots.

“We are proud to construct and officially christen [B.C. Ferries’] first-ever cable ferry,” said Brian Carter, president of Seaspan Shipyards, in a statement.

Mike Corrigan, B.C. Ferries’ president, said Seaspan workers have “produced a fine vessel for us.”

Ferries has come under criticism for contracting with a Polish shipyard to build three new intermediate-class ferries. Seaspan had been the sole Canadian bidder shortlisted for that job, but dropped out, saying it was too busy with other shipbuilding jobs.

B.C. shipyards have been hired to perform refit and upgrading work on B.C. Ferries’ fleet. Seaspan also owns Victoria Shipyards, based at the Esquimalt Graving Dock.

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