Coastal Renaissance returned to service after months out of operation

Coastal Renaissance returned to service after months out of operation
BC Ferries
File photo of the Coastal Renaissance.

Over six months after it was pulled from service, the Coastal Renaissance was returned to service at the beginning of March.

The Coastal Renaissance was taken out of service for repairs on Aug. 16, with BC Ferries first estimating it would take weeks for the repair to be complete.

Once it was pulled in for repairs, the scope of the issue became clearer with the company then adjusting the timeline for the return to be in October, then December, then finally in March.

BC Ferries tells CHEK News the Coastal Renaissance returned to service on March 4.

The issue that led to the lengthy repairs dates back to when the ferries were first brought to the BC Ferries routes in 2007 and 2008, when the motor rotors caused noise and vibrations while docking that were noticed by crews, passengers and nearby residents.

“It was even rattling some of the windows of people who lived around the terminal,” Jeff Groot, BC Ferries executive director of communications and engagement said in an email.

In order to minimize disruption, the decision was made to turn off the in-shore motor while the ferries were docked, “and of course, this means you have to start the motors on twice as often as normal, speeding up the impact on its service life.”

The solution to the problem was to install variable speed motor controls on the Coastal class ships.

Now that the Coastal Renaissance has returned to service, the same issue must be repaired on the two other Coastal vessels.

The Coastal Celebration is currently undergoing the refit at the Esquimalt Graving Dock, and the Coastal Inspiration is set to be pulled for the same between April and May. This will allow all three of the ferries to return to service in time for the peak summer period.

In addition to the repairs, the Coastal Inspiration will sail around the east point, rather than through Active Pass, in order to reduce the wear on the ferry. Once the refit is complete, the ferries will return to the regular route through Active Pass.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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