BC Ferries Queen of the Islands

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Queen of the Islands was a single unclassed vessel owned and operated by BC Ferries. It was built in 1963 by Burrard Drydocks in Vancouver, BC.

Queen of the Islands was designed specifically to be used on the new Tsawwassen - Gulf Islands route, which called at multiple ports and required loading and unloading of vehicles at both ends of the vessel on each trip. Uniquely, it featured a turntable in the bow, which enabled vehicles to be rotated to be facing in the correct direction. Queen of the Islands had a large passenger deck above the vehicle deck, which had large windows enabling passengers to have an unobstructed 360 degree view of the picturesque Gulf Islands region.

Queen of the Islands

Queen of the Islands
Built 1963, Vancouver
Home base Deas Dock
Route(s) served 3, 7, 9, 17

Queen of the Islands was the only vessel in its class.

It was built specifically to operate on the brand-new route 9 (Tsawwassen - Gulf Islands), directly connecting Salt Spring Island and the Gulf Islands to Vancouver and the mainland. However, it was quickly found unsuitable for this route. It was prone to developing a severe list if its deck was not loaded precisely - a tough task considering the nature of route 9, calling at multiple ports and loading/unloading at both ends of the vessel on a single trip. After other larger vessels such as the Sidney classes became available, Queen of the Islands became redundant and was removed from route 9 in 1969.[1]

With no place to operate in the BC Ferries network, Queen of the Islands was leased to the BC Ministry of Transportation and Highways during the summers to provide extra sailings on the Comox - Powell River route beginning in 1969 alongside Comox Queen. After the Ministry purchased Sechelt Queen in 1976, Queen of the Islands was returned to BC Ferries.

After returning to BC Ferries, Queen of the Island operated on extra summer sailings of routes 3 (Horseshoe Bay - Langdale) and 7 (Saltery Bay - Earls Cove), but was laid up during the off-season. By the mid-1980s, it was no longer seeing any service. In 1991, Queen of the Islands was sold to St. John's Fishing Lodge and used as a floating fishing lodge. After the lodge went bankrupt in 2008, Queen of the Islands was sold and moored in Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver, and was converted to a floating event venue, renamed as Spirit of the Nation.[2]

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
3,200 hp 16 knots 72 m 1,717 tonnes 40 autos 483


References

  1. M.V. Queen of the Islands, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved 02-22-2017.
  2. Celebration On Water, retrieved 02-22-2017.