The following is the text of a news release from BC Ferries:
(VICTORIA, British Columbia) — BC Ferries has officially taken ownership of the new cable ferry, Baynes Sound Connector, with the title transferred from Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards.
During rigorous acceptance trials and testing conducted by Seaspan in conjunction with BC Ferries, the new cable ferry met or exceeded all contract specifications, including speed and lower fuel consumption compared to Quinitsa, the vessel currently in service on this route.
“We are very pleased with the new cable ferry’s performance,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ president and CEO. “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,” said Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ vice president of engineering. “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."
Tension-measuring devices on the cables show the cables are functioning as planned, and the loads are within the results predicted. The cables operate under 15 to 20 tonnes of tension and the weight of the cables has not impacted the speed of the vessel.
BC Ferries will now be conducting its own rigorous crew training and familiarization over the next eight weeks as the company prepares for full operational service. There will be further activities on the vessel and at the terminals which will include a Transport Canada certification, as well as daytime and nighttime cable change-outs and emergency recovery procedures to ensure proficiency. Final adjustments to the floating pontoons will also be made at both terminals. Baynes Sound Connector is expected to be in full operational service in early February 2016. Passengers will continue to be served by Quinitsa until Baynes Sound Connector goes into service.