Another Island Class vessel ordered by BC Ferries entered the water Feb. 18 after a successful launch by Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. The yet-to-be-named ferry is the fifth of six hybrid-electric vessels with available battery power joining the fleet.
Work continues on the new vessel until sea trials begin in June. The plan is to have the vessel delivered to Point Hope Maritime in Victoria, B.C., late this year for final preparation. It will be one of two Island Class vessels assigned to the Nanaimo Harbor–Gabriola Island route in 2022, and retiring Quinsam.
Replacing a larger ship with two smaller vessels will provide customers with a more frequent service with increased capacity per hour. The switch is expected to reduce vehicle lineups and congestion on local roads, as well as avoid consuming more greenspace to accommodate traffic.Once electric charging technology can be installed at terminals, the new vessels will be configured to operate as all battery-electric ferries powered by renewable hydroelectric energy. Island Class ferries have the capacity to carry at least 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew. They will allow for fleet redeployments and retirements of existing diesel-fuelled vessels.
View the launch: https://youtu.be/zN_of9sH2EY
Image from BC Ferries Website