BC Ferries unveiled the name of its newest vessel, Baynes Sound Connector, at a special ceremony at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards in North Vancouver. The brand new cable ferry will join the BC Ferries’ fleet on the Buckley Bay – Denman Island route later this summer and will be a welcome addition to the coastal ferry service. The name “Baynes Sound Connector” reflects the channel that the ferry will be crossing. Following with marine tradition for the majority of cable ferries around the world, BC Ferries’ newest ship is named after the specific geographic area in which it will operate.
“Today marks a special milestone in our vessel replacement program as we honour maritime tradition with the naming ceremony and thank the workers at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards who have produced a fine vessel for us,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “As we continue to invest in the long-term sustainability of British Columbia’s ferry system, we celebrate this new ship today which will carry our passengers and their vehicles safely and efficiently for many years to come.”
“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,” said Brian Carter, President, Seaspan Shipyards. “Today’s celebration is an exciting and important step in our longstanding commitment to BC Ferries and its customers, and we look forward to continuing that role and being a key contributor to B.C.’s economy for many years to come.”
Baynes Sound Connector will be towed to Buckley Bay on Vancouver Island late May, where it will be connected to the three cables that were laid last month. In June and July, BC Ferries’ crews will undergo extensive 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 will enter service by late summer.
This cable ferry provides BC Ferries with projected cost savings of over $80 million over the 40-year life of the project compared to the current service, and these significant cost savings of $2 million per year will help with fare affordability across the coastal ferry system.
Baynes Sound Connector measures 78.5 metres 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 approximately 1900 metres, this cable ferry will be the longest one in the world, capable of speeds of 8.5 knots with a normal service speed of 7.5 knots.
The first phase of BC Ferries’ newbuild program saw seven new vessels enter service between 2006 and 2009. This second phase of the vessel replacement program will see four new ships join the fleet over the next two years.