The Northern Sea Wolf features exterior art work by artist Richard Hunt. (File photo)

New ferry to B.C.’s central coast sets sail, a year late and $20M over budget

Northern Sea Wolf will cost $76 million when it hits the waters in June

The ferry expected to bring a direct route between northern Vancouver Island and the central B.C. coast is coming a year late and $20 million over budget.

In an email sent by BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall Tuesday, she said the Northern Sea Wolf was originally supposed to operate in June 2018, but will now start later this summer.

The ferry will also cost $76 million by the time it gets into the water, instead of the $55.7 million initially budgeted.

It will take over the route from the Nimpkish, a 46-year-old ferry that can hold 12 cars and 95 people. It will begin its planned seasonal direct route from Port Hardy to Bella Coola on June 3.

READ MORE: BC Ferries reveals Northern Sea Wolf artwork

The 77-metre Northern Sea Wolf was built in Greece in 2000, then bought by BC Ferries for $12.6 million in 2017. At the time, it was thought to cost $55.7 million to both buy and retrofit the vessel.

However, Marshall said “major upgrade work to bring the vessel up to BC Ferries and Transport Canada’s standards took longer than originally anticipated,” and boosted up the cost to a total of $63.4 million for retrofit work.

Add in the initial $12.6 million cost to buy the ferry, and it will now cost $76 million by the time the Northern Sea Wolf begins running.

The vessel will carry up to 35 vehicles and 150 passengers and has spent May conducting dock trials in the communities it will serve.

The increased costs are attributed to a new galley, bridge, electrical generators, HVAC system, washrooms, elevator, chair lifts, new cafeteria and passenger accommodation area.

“In many aspects, the vessel is totally new,” Marshall said.

The federal government has contributed $15.1 million, leaving the corporation with a $60.9-million bill.

READ MORE: ‘Huge disappointment’ as Northern Sea Wolf will not sail summer 2018


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore woman’s dog found in Colwood more than two weeks after going missing

Isla went missing on March 10 and was found 17 days later

Saanich police ticket two speeders before 9 a.m., Saturday

Officers still actively enforcing road safety amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHOTOS: Painted fence in Langford shows thanks for essential workers amid COVID-19

Community members finding unique ways to show their appreciation

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Antibody tests could be the next step in fighting COVID-19, Island doctor says

The blood test could show if a person is recovering or has recovered from the virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read