BC Ferries V-Class

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The Victoria class, also known as the "V class", was a series of 7 vessels owned and operated by BC Ferries, built between 1962 and 1965.

Construction of the seven vessels were split between the Victoria Machinery Depot in Victoria, and the Burrard Shipyard in Vancouver, BC. This was done to speed up construction, as BC Ferries was experiencing rapid growth in ridership during the early 1960s, and the need to replace vessels acquired from private operators.

With increasing ridership, BC Ferries made a number of modifications to increase capacity in the Victoria class vessels. First, platform decks were installed on all seven vessels around 1968 to increase underheight vehicle capacity by approximately 40 vehicles. Between 1969 and 1974, all seven vessels had a 25 m section added to lengthen the vessels, leading to their popular nickname, the "Stretch ferries". In 1981-1982, four of the Victoria class vessels (Queen of Victoria, Queen of Vancouver, Queen of Saanich, and Queen of Esquimalt) were cut in half and raised to add a second vehicle deck, doubling car capacity. The remaining three vessels (Queen of Nanaimo, Queen of New Westminster, Queen of Burnaby), which were not raised, were removed from the Victoria class and became the Burnaby class.

The four raised Victoria class vessels were mainstays on route 1 (Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay) from the first day in service until their retirement. Queen of Victoria was replaced by Spirit of Vancouver Island, while the remaining three vessels were replaced by the Coastal class. Queen of Victoria remained in the fleet until 2000 service as back vessel for the other vessels. Queen of Esquimalt was made a permanent spare major vessel when the Spirit of British Columbia entered service until her retirement 2008.

Queen of Victoria

Queen of Victoria
Built 1962, Victoria
Home base Swartz Bay
Route(s) served 1

Queen of Victoria was the first vessel built in the Victoria class.

Upon entering service in 1962, Queen of Victoria was based out of Swartz Bay, assigned to route 1 (Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay) as one of the two primary vessels.

Her original name when she enter service, in 1962, was the City of Victoria and until she was renamed, a year late, in 1963 to the Queen of Victoria. Queen of Victoria was stretched in 1970, and had its upper vehicle deck added in 1981. It continued serving as one of the primary vessels (odd hour departures) on route 1 until Spirit of Vancouver Island entered service in 1994, upon which time Queen of Victoria became a spare/refit ship. It was retired from service in 2000, and sold in 2001 to R & G Importadora & Exportadora of the Dominican Republic as Queen of Ooca. It was scrapped in Alang, India in 2006.[1]

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Two MaK 9MU551AK
9,000 hp
19 knots 129.9 m 9,294 tonnes 286 autos 1,360


Queen of Vancouver

Queen of Vancouver
Built 1962, Vancouver
Home base Tsawwassen
Route(s) served 1

Queen of Vancouver was the 2nd vessel built in the Victoria class.

Upon entering service in 1962, Queen of Vancouver was based out of Tsawwassen, assigned to route 1 (Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay) as one of the two primary vessels.

Her original name when she enter service, in 1962, was the City of Vancouver and until she was renamed, a year late, in 1963 to the Queen of Vancouver. Queen of Vancouver was stretched in 1971, and had its upper vehicle deck added in 1981. It continued serving as one of the primary vessels (odd hour departures) on route 1 until Spirit of British Columbia entered service in 1993, upon which time Queen of Vancouver moved to cover secondary sailings out of Tsawwassen.[2] It maintained this role until its retirement in early 2009, when Queen of New Westminster replaced it after being displaced by Coastal Inspiration. Queen of Vancouver was sold to Coast Marine and moored at Woodfibre, intended to be turned into a barge. It was scrapped in Ensenada, Mexico in 2012.[1]

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Two MaK 9MU551AK
9,0000 hp
19 knots 129.9 m 9,357 tonnes 338 autos 1,708


Queen of Saanich

Queen of Saanich
Built 1963, Victoria
Home base Swartz Bay
Route(s) served 1

Queen of Saanich was the 3rd vessel built in the Victoria class.

Upon entering service in 1963, Queen of Saanich was based out of Swartz Bay, assigned to route 1 (Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay). It replaced Queen of Sidney, which moved to route 2.

Queen of Saanich was stretched in 1972, and had its upper vehicle deck added in 1982. It continued serving as a secondary vessel (even hour departures) on route 1 until 2008, when it was directly replaced by Coastal Celebration.[3] Queen of Saanich was sold to BMHG Enterprises, renamed Owen Belle and used as a logging camp off the northern coast of Vancouver Island. It was scrapped in Ensenada, Mexico in 2011.[1]

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Two MaK 8MU551AK
8,500 hp
19 knots 129.9 m 9,302 tonnes 360 autos 1,708


Queen of Esquimalt

Queen of Esquimalt
Built 1963, Victoria
Home base Langdale (summer),
Tsawwassen (off-peak)
Route(s) served 3 (summer),
1, 2, 30 (replacement)

Queen of Esquimalt was the 4th vessel built in the Victoria class.

Upon entering service in 1963, Queen of Esquimalt was based out of Tsawwassen, assigned to route 1 (Tsawwassen - Swartz Bay). It replaced Queen of Tsawwassen, which moved to route 2.

Queen of Esquimalt was the prototype vessel for stretching, being completed in 1969. It was raised to add an upper vehicle deck in 1982, and continued serving as a secondary vessel (even hour departures) on route 1 until 1993, when the arrival of Spirit of British Columbia pushed Queen of Esquimalt to spare vessel, where it became the summer extra vessel on route 3 (Horseshoe Bay - Langdale), and saw occasional service on routes 1, 2, and 30, replacing vessels that were out of service.[4] It was retired in 2008, when Queen of Coquitlam replaced it after being displaced by Coastal Renaissance. Queen of Esquimalt was sold to Dalian Golden Sun I/E, renamed to Princess Jacqueline, and moored in Port Alberni. It was scrapped in Ensenada, Mexico in 2011.[1]

Engines Max speed Length Displacement Vehicle capacity Passenger capacity
Two MaK 8MU551AK
8,500 hp
19 knots 129.9 m 9,304 tonnes 376 autos 1,656


Queen of Nanaimo

Queen of Nanaimo was the 5th vessel built in the Victoria class.

Upon entering service in 1964, it was based out of Horseshoe Bay, and assigned to route 2 (Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay). As one of the three Victoria class vessels not to receive the upper car deck, it was reclassed as a Burnaby class vessel. For further details on the history of this vessel, see the Burnaby class page.


Queen of New Westminster

Queen of New Westminster was the 6th vessel built in the Victoria class.

Upon entering service in 1964, it was based out of Horseshoe Bay, and assigned to route 2 (Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay). As one of the three Victoria class vessels not to receive the upper car deck, it was reclassed as a Burnaby class vessel. For further details on the history of this vessel, see the Queen of New Westminster page.


Queen of Burnaby

Queen of Burnaby was the 7th and final vessel built in the Victoria class.

Upon entering service in 1965, it was based out of Departure Bay, and assigned to route 2 (Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay). As one of the three Victoria class vessels not to receive the upper car deck, it was reclassed as a Burnaby class vessel. For further details on the history of this vessel, see the Burnaby class page.


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Status of Former BC Ferries Vessels (Post-2000), West Coast Ferries Forum, retrieved 01-14-2017.
  2. Queen of Vancouver, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved 01-14-2017.
  3. Queen of Saanich, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved 01-14-2017.
  4. Queen of Esquimalt, www.westcoastferries.com, retrieved 01-14-2017.