A ferry servicing Nanaimo and Tsawwassen is anticipated to be out of commission until at least after Thanksgiving, says BC Ferries.
Engine problems led to the Coastal Renaissance being taken out of service on Aug. 17. At a press conference Tuesday, Aug. 22, Stephen Jones, BC Ferries executive director of engineering, said while the drive motor has been inspected, the full scope of repair can only be determined after a rotor is removed.
A plan is expected to be in place by Sept. 1, he said. BC Ferries expects to be able to do a rotor lift between Sept. 7-10, then an inspection between Sept. 11-15. After that, the company will need to order materials, rewind the stationary part of the rotary system and then put the motor back together.
Jones said based on information from a technician, rewinding takes approximately five weeks and it would be safe to say that it “would be unlikely to see this vessel back before mid October.”
The Queen of Coquitlam, servicing the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route, has been reassigned to handle Coastal Renaissance traffic two days a week, and Karen Tindall, BC Ferries’ director of customer care, said that has been helpful. Customers should plan in advance with the impending Labour Day long weekend, she said.
“If you don’t have a booking, there is very limited space left after we’ve done these cancellations on the route…” said Tindall. “We’re just in the process of identifying refit timelines and other pieces of this puzzle so that we can inform customers as soon as we know.”
As for Thanksgiving long weekend sailings, Nicolas Jimenez, BC Ferries president and CEO, said plans are being developed.
“You have to recognize fewer people travel in the fall…” he noted. “The October Thanksgiving weekend, we begin our refit schedules. This is when all of our vessels are scheduled to go into their annual maintenance program cycle, so we’re looking at that plan, that schedule, which vessels, which routes, in order to address the Renaissance not being available. We’ll have more to say on that as that plan unfolds.”