Victoria Machinery Depot
Sept. 7, 1965
is a minor vessel (Powell River Class) operated by BC Ferries operating in British Columbia's Southern Gulf Islands. The
along with her then-identical sister ships, the
Powell River Queen
were built for BC Ferries in 1965 for service on some of the busier minor routes.
These days you will find the
usually serving on the Swartz Bay - Southern Gulf Islands route. Onboard, you'll find three interior seating (one on either side of the first passenger deck, and a large one on the second passenger deck), three levels of accessible outside deck space, vending machines, and washrooms (with access for those with disabilities).
is powered by four engines and propelled and steered through four right angle drives (RADs), one located in each quarter of the vessel. These engines allow the ferry to turn on a dime and even move sideways. For evacuation purposes, the ferry is equipped with a number of life rafts. There is also a rescue boat located on the outside of the main passenger deck.
The three Powell River Class ferries were built to operate on the new minor routes acquired by BC Ferries in the early 1960�s. These vessels were built for approximately 1 million dollars each in 1965, and originally had a 50-car capacity. Unlike her sisters, until 1979 the
had two additional side loading ramps (one near each end) to allow loading from a pier. In 1979, the
along with her sisters were stretched and re-engined at a cost of $3 million each, increasing their vehicle capacity to 70. At that time, the side ramps were removed.
As today, the
began service on the Swartz Bay - Southern Gulf Islands route. Except for a few minor stints as a replacement vessel on other routes, the ferry has remained on the Southern Gulf Islands route for most of her life.
On November 7th, 1995, the
hit the dock at Snug Cove, Bowen Island, damaging 12 boats and part of the neighbouring marina. One of the ferry's four propeller units was damaged as well. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada's
Report Number M95W0195
gives a full in-depth review of the incident.
Less than a year later, on August 13, 1996, the
again had mechanical problems with steering, and was grounded on Piers Island, near the Swartz Bay ferry terminal. While there were no injuries, the accident resulted in a minor oil spill and three of the ferry's propellers were heavily damaged. Passengers were stranded for 5 hours before being let off at Swartz Bay.
Report Number M96W0175
from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada gives a full rundown on the accident.
Origin of Name
- Named after Mayne Island (a Gulf Island), which was named after Lt. Richard C. Mayne. He was a officer with the British navy and worked on the coast between 1857 and 1861. ("Maybe Island" -
Encyclopedia of British Columbia
For Further Reading
Bannerman, Gary and Patricia.
The Ships of British Columbia
. Surrey: Hancock House Publishers, 1985.
The Queens of British Columbia: a detailed account of the ships in the B.C. Ferry fleet
. North Vancouver: Discovery Magazine, 1974.
Griffiths, Garth, and H.L. Cadieux.
. Nanaimo: Cadieux and Griffiths, 1967.