BC Ferries offers look into fleet maintenance


Following a summer season of cancellations and frustration for passengers, BC Ferries offered a look into its plan to refit and repair its fleet of ships.

On Wednesday, the corporation hosted a fleet maintenance overview to update the status of its Coastal Class vessels and shed light on how it plans to manage peak season volume for the upcoming year.

BC Ferries revealed it spent $36.9 million on repairs to its fleet, including a major failure in the Coastal Renaissance’s rotor, which has sidelined the vessel since August.

“Whenever you have a major repair, it’s always a significant impact, and yes, it’s impacted our financial performance,” says BC Ferries vice president of engineering Stephen Jones.

Jones says rotors are being replaced on all the Coastal vessels as part of a refit schedule, which aims to have the full fleet operational and running smoothly by May. A report released by BC Ferries shows 20 ships are being refitted this year at a cost of approximately $4.7 million per.

In addition to rotors, a variable-speed drive is being installed on the Coastal vessels to ease the burden on the engine during departure.

“Right now, it’s incredibly high load when you start these things,” says Jones.

More than 20 million passengers used the service last year, and BC Ferries says it looks forward to welcoming a record number of passengers in 2024.

“It’s the backbone of moving people, goods and supplies,” says Brian Anderson, VP of strategy and planning.

The Coastal Renaissance is due back in service in March.

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