Weight of cables said to be slowing down vessel
A Hornby Island resident with over 40 years experience at sea says many of the concerns the public has had about the new Denman Island cable ferry appear to be coming true.
Peter Kimmerly who was a Master on the world’s largest icebreaker, the Terry Fox, and Senior Master on the current Buckley Bay to Denman Island ferry, the Quinitsa, says the new cable ferry is having a difficult time reaching the required speed.
“They have agreed to produce a speed of 8.5 knots and they’re only producing a speed of 6.5 knots,” Kimmerly told CHEK News.
He says the problem is the weight of the three cables used by the ferry. At 15 tons each he says they are too heavy.
“The problem is the act of lifting those wires from over 200 feet creates or consumes an awful lot of energy and it absorbs the energy that should be usable to propel the ferry forward,” said Kimmerly.
Peter Kimmerly says a promise by BC Ferries to make the run more fuel efficient will not be attainable. “The cable ferry is consuming 2.5 times the fuel Quinitsa is a 6.5 knots and the big argument for this project was that fuel savings was going to be a great big benefit and it’s not proving to be so,” he said.
In an email to CHEK News, BC Ferries says the vessel is still owned by the builder Seaspan, and only when the ferry meets contractual specifications will BC Ferries take over the title.
“Because BC Ferries has committed to the residents of Denman and Hornby Islands that the cable ferry will provide the same level of service as the MV Quinitsa, we will take the necessary time to ensure the Baynes Sound Connector meets BC Ferries’ high safety and operational standards prior to putting the vessel into service. We are not in a rush to get the cable ferry into service, and the existing vessel will continue to provide service for our customers,” said BC Ferries’ Manager of Public Affairs Darin Guenette.