Official No: 0323841 Place Built: Victoria Builder: Victoria Machinery Depot Year Built: 1965 Launch Date: June 16 Year Re-Built: 1979 Vehicle Capacity: 68 Passenger Capacity: 400 Crew: 6-8 Length: 84.96 m Breadth: 18.65 m Gross Tons: 1,486 Service Speed: 14 knots Horsepower: 3,600
The Powell River Queen operates between Campbell River and Quathiaski Cove, Quadra Island. Her four z-drive propellers make her incredibly manoeuvrable, which is often evident on the short trip across the often turbulent and fast-flowing waters of Discovery Passage. The PRQ was built in 1965; the first of three "Powell River Class" vessels built during that year for about $1 million each. Built almost identical to her sister ships the Mayne Queen and Bowen Queen, the Powell River Queen underwent a $3 million refit in 1973 to increase overheight capacity and modify the passenger accommodations (Bannerman, 172). In 1979 she underwent another $3 million refit. In that year she joined her sisters in being cut and stretched to increase vehicle capacity from 50 to 70 as well as being re-engined. Currently the Powell River Queen has a slightly smaller vehicle capacity due to a small passenger shelter located on the car deck. The PRQ has served on other routes as well; in the 1980's she operated on Jervis Inlet between Saltery Bay and Earls Cove.
1965 - Powell River Queen is first of 3 ferries built for BC Ferries to operate on newly acquired minor routes on the south coast.
1973 - A $3 million dollar refit expands the ferry's overheight vehicle capacity.
1979 - Another $3 million dollar refit. The ferry is stretched 22 meters, increasing vehicle capacity by 20 cars. The PRQ also receives new engines.
1988 - December 13 - The crew of the Powell River Queen rescues a boater in Jervis Inlet during a wind storm.
Origin of Name
Powell River Queen Named after the city of Powell River, located near the northern end of the Sunshine Coast (north of Vancouver). The city is named after Israel Wood Powell who was British Columbia's Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the 1880's. ("Powell River" - Encyclopedia of British Columbia)
For Further Reading
Bannerman, Gary and Patricia. The Ships of British Columbia. Surrey: Hancock House Publishers, 1985.