BC Ferries begins work on out-of-service Coastal Renaissance

BC Ferries begins work on out-of-service Coastal Renaissance
BC Ferries handout image
File photo of a drive motor with a partially removed copper rotor. Workers face blurred by BC Ferries.

Three weeks after it was pulled from service, work to determine the issue with the Coastal Renaissance is now underway, according to BC Ferries.

The ship was first pulled from service on Aug. 16, after it experienced issues with the drive motor.

The Coastal Renaissance has two drive motors that operate a propeller at either end of the ferry. The ferry cannot operate without both drive motors operating, because it needs both in order to dock and undock.

This essentially means that the ferry could move in one direction, but not the other, which also affects the vessel’s ability to reverse out of dock, so it cannot turn around and just run in one direction.

In order to determine the issue, the drive motor has to be removed from the ship, which required expert help and enough space in a shipyard to complete, so the work was not able to begin until now.

In a notice on its website, BC Ferries says removing the drive motor, which will take place starting Sept. 7 through Sept. 16, there will be an increase in noise at the Departure Bay terminal as the work takes place 24 hours a day.

“BC Ferries will work closely with the contractor to minimize noise levels as much as possible for our neighbours,” the notice says.

“BC Ferries would like to thank its neighbours for their patience as we complete this necessary repair. While the removal of the motor is required to expedite the vessel’s return to service, the Coastal Renaissance does not yet have a return to service date.”

Previously, BC Ferries has said once the issue is determined the hope is to repair it locally, but it may need to be sent to a shipyard elsewhere in the Canada or U.S., or even back to the manufacturer in Germany depending on the issue.

Once the issue is repaired, the stator will need to be rewound which takes five weeks, according to the company.

BC Ferries has previously said the earliest the Coastal Renaissance could return to service would be mid-October.

In the meantime, the Queen of Alberni has been pulled to the Duke Point to Tsawwassen route in order to make up the sailings that otherwise would have been operated by the Coastal Renaissance.

The Queen of Alberni is a smaller ship, with a car capacity of 280 and passenger and crew capacity of 1,200, compared to the Coastal Renaissance’s 310 car capacity and 1,604 passenger and crew capacity.


Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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