Coastal Renaissance to likely be out of service for weeks

Coastal Renaissance to likely be out of service for weeks
BC Ferries

BC Ferries says the timeline to fix the Coastal Renaissance ferry is a matter of weeks — not days — as the ferry is taken out of service on the Nanaimo to Tsawwassen route.

In a news conference, Nicolas Jimenez, BC Ferries’ CEO, said an issue arose on one of the Wednesday afternoon sailings, and crews worked overnight to figure out the problem.

“The team worked last night in order to do an analysis of the problem and what we have learned is that there was a failure of the number two drive motor,” Jimenez said.

“Essentially, we cannot sail this vessel with a failure in that drive motor. What I can tell you right now, as we unpack the issue and work with our original equipment manufacturer to understand better technical details, is that this is not a simple fix, this is in fact, a very complicated fix that will take an extended period of time that’s likely to be measured in weeks, not days.”

READ PREVIOUS: Sailing cancellations on Nanaimo to Vancouver route: BC Ferries

BC Ferries is looking at bringing in an alternate vessel to help service the route while the Coastal Renaissance is out of service.

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.

At the moment, BC Ferries can’t say exactly what the issue is and what the repair will entail.

“The precise nature of the repair is still to be determined. We have very little access to this motor right now because we just have some very small inspection port that we can see through and through that we’re able to determine what has occurred, but we can’t yet determine the nature of the repair that’s required and that’s going to take some time,” said Stephen Jones, executive director of engineering for BC Ferries.

“It’s probably going to take some specialist input from specialist contractors who we have already been in contact with.”

The Coastal Renaissance is one of three Coastal class ferries that BC Ferries operates, and Jones says there will be inspections on the drive motors on the other vessels as well to ensure a similar failure isn’t likely to happen on them as well.

Earlier this summer, the Coastal Celebration vessel, which travels between Victoria and Vancouver, was pulled from service for more than a week to undergo repairs to its propeller blade seal.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!