BC Ferries Sidney Class

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The Sidney class was a pair of vessels owned and operated by BC Ferries, built in 1960.

The pair of vessels were built to inaugurate BC Ferries' first route, between Swartz Bay (Sidney) and Tsawwassen, the two communities the vessels were named after. The vessels were designed after the Black Ball Ferry Line's M/V Coho, with some improvements such as vehicle loading through the bow. Sidney was built by the Victoria Machinery Depot in Victoria, while Tsawwassen was built by Burnaby Drydock in Vancouver, BC.

Demand for the Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay route became so popular that the two Sidney class vessels were quickly overwhelmed; this led to the construction of the larger Victoria class beginning in 1962. Although the Victoria class vessels were stretched and raised to accommodate increases in traffic, the Sidney class vessels were never modified except for an expansion to the restaurant area. Instead, they became spare ships, and found work on other quieter routes in the BC Ferries network until being retired in 2000 and 2008.

Queen of Sidney

Queen of Sidney
Built 1960, Victoria
Home base Little River
Route(s) served 17

Queen of Sidney was the first vessel built for BC Ferries.

Originally built as Sidney and named after the community of its home port of Swartz Bay, Sidney inaugurated service on the Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay route. In 1962, City of Victoria entered service, moving Sidney to become the secondary ship out of Swartz Bay, and the entry of Queen of Saanich into service a year later made Sidney move to the Departure Bay - Horseshoe Bay route. In 1963, Sidney was renamed to Queen of Sidney to follow BC Ferries' new naming policy. Queen of Sidney was once again displaced after the final Victoria class vessels entered service on the Departure Bay - Horseshoe Bay route in 1965.

After 1965, Queen of Sidney was a spare ship in the fleet. It primarily replaced other vessels undergoing refit, including the Victoria class vessels while being stretched, and found occasional summer work assigned to the Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay and Horseshoe Bay - Langdale routes. Queen of Sidney was later assigned in the 1970s to route 9 (Tsawwassen - Gulf Islands) until being replaced by Queen of Nanaimo in 1986. Queen of Sidney was then assigned to route 17 (Comox - Powell River). It stayed on this route until 2000, when its poor condition necessitated its retirement. Queen of Sidney was sold off, and was moored in the Fraser River near Mission, BC.[1]

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Two Mirrlees
6,000 hp
17 knots 102.5 m 3,127 tonnes 138 autos 989


Queen of Tsawwassen

Queen of Tsawwassen
Built 1960, Vancouver
Home base Saltery Bay (summer)
Route(s) served 7 (summer),
9, 17 (replacement)

Queen of Tsawwassen was the second vessel built for BC Ferries.

Originally built as Tsawwassen and named after its home port, Tsawwassen helped launch service on the Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay route. In 1962, City of Vancouver entered service, moving Tsawwassen to become the secondary ship out of Tsawwassen, and the entry of Queen of Esquimalt into service a year later made Tsawwassen move to the Departure Bay - Horseshoe Bay route. In 1963, Tsawwassen was renamed to Queen of Tsawwassen to follow BC Ferries' new naming policy.

Queen of Tsawwassen continued operating on the Departure Bay - Horseshoe Bay route as the secondary vessel out of Departure Bay until 1974, when it was replaced by the original Queen of Surrey. At this point, Queen of Tsawwassen became the summer vessel on route 3 (Horseshoe Bay - Langdale) from 1976-1981, on route 9 (Tsawwassen - Gulf Islands) during the 1980s and 1990s, and on route 7 (Saltery Bay - Earls Cove) during the late 1990s. It was primarily a spare vessel for the rest of the year. In 2000, it was moved full-time to route 17 (Comox - Powell River) to replace the retiring Queen of Sidney. This arrangement did not last long, as it was replaced a year later by Queen of Burnaby. Queen of Tsawwassen then returned to summer service on route 7, being tied up during the off season, or used as a replacement for a Burnaby class vessel on routes 9 and 17.[2]

Queen of Tsawwassen was retired after the 2008 summer season on route 7, and its replacement vessel Malaspina Sky entered service in February 2009.

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Two Mirrlees
6,000 hp
17 knots 102.5 m 3,127 tonnes 128 autos 640


References

  1. Queen of Sidney - Photos & Discussion, West Coast Ferries Forum, retrieved 02-19-2017.
  2. M.V. Queen of Tsawwassen, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved 02-19-2017.