According to BC Ferries, the timeline and scope of repairs are still unknown for their 16-year-old vessel, the Coastal Renaissance, which services the Tsawwassen to Duke Point route.
Two key parts of one of the Coastal Renaissance’s motors needs to be thoroughly inspected and will need to be replaced or heavily repaired depending on the scale of the damage to the parts.
The rotor and stator, which are the two elements that turn the ship’s propeller within the motor, are the sources of the issues the ship is facing. One remains static while the other rotates to provide power to the propeller.
“The Coastal Renaissance is currently at Departure Bay in Nanaimo,” said Stephen Jones, Executive Director of Engineering for BC Ferries.
“During the weekend, the drive motor was inspected by [the original equipment manufacturer] and local specialist technicians.”
After the inspection, both parties agreed that rewinding the stator would be possible but they would have to remove both the rotor and the stator in order to do so.
These parts will not be able to be removed and further inspected until September 15th at the latest and even then, a timeline on a full repair is unclear, according to Jones.
“It’s possible to repair in situ, it’s possible to potentially repair at an approved facility in North America, either Canada or the US likely, or alternatively to repair at the factory in Germany,” he said.
“Obviously our preference is to do this work locally if we can but we’ll be looking at all those options.”
Until the Coastal Renaissance can be repaired, there are two other vessels servicing the Duke Point to Tsawwassen route with a third vessel, the Queen of Coquitlam, helping out on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“That will help mitigate — not entirely, but in part — some of the impacts with the Renaissance undergoing an unexpected repair,” said Nicolas Jimenez, President and CEO of BC Ferries.
In Nanaimo another ferry service, Hullo, just began making the trek to Vancouver.
They bypass Tsawwassen and transport people directly downtown; however, Hullo has been off to a rocky start as they have had to cancel many sailings in their first two days due to a power outage and high winds.
So far BC Ferries have contacted most of their over 7,500 customers who booked the ferry for the Duke Point to Tsawassen route. They say by the end of day Thursday, they will have finished contacting the last 3,700 they have left in an attempt to retain them.
As far as upcoming sailings and scheduling goes, BC Ferries is recommending booking in advance for the upcoming Labour Day long weekend.
“It’s going to be busy, if you don’t have a booking, there is very limited space left,” said Karen Tindall, Director of Customer Care for BC Ferries.
“We’ve also noted that on past weekends, parking has filled up quite fast and by Saturday most terminals are seeing parking lots full so we are highly encouraging customers to consider taking public transit, carpooling or looking at rideshare possibilities.”
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