BC Ferries (Vancouver, Canada) has arranged to acquire a ferry from the State of Utah for $200,000 (US) being a successful bidder in a competitive bidding process to acquire the 20-year-old vessel, the MV John Atlantic Burr. The vessel, which has been operated in fresh water on Lake Powell (Utah, USA), was extensively surveyed by BC Ferries' engineers prior to submitting a formal bid and was found to be in excellent condition. The ship will be cut longitudinally for its transport to British Columbia. BC Ferries plan to potentially widen the vessel to add another lane and increase the vessel’s carrying capacity from 26 to 35 cars and deploy it on its stanadard routes along the BC coast.
The vessel will undergo modifications this winter to meet BC Ferries and Transport Canada requirements and it is planned to have it available for service by the summer of 2006, according to BC ferries. An investment of approximately $4.5 million (Cdn) will be required to transport it to the west coast, convert to BC Ferries’ standards, and re-flag it in Canada. A new vessel of this size would cost approximately $20 million to construct. The ferry, which was designed by Marine Design Associates (MDA) of Victoria (Canada) in 1985, was substantially upgraded with its hull and superstructure lengthened in 1996. MDA have been contracted to have oversight for the removal and transportation of the vessel. Following removal, the vessel will be cut into quarters and road hauled to a barge loading site in Tacoma (Washington) from where the sections will be shipped to North Vancouver in Canada. MDA will have oversight for the entire transportation and will be re-designing the vessel to achieve greater load capacity.
The MV John Atlantic Burr is a sister ship to BC Ferries’ three K-class ships, the MV Kahloke, MV Klitsa and MV Kwuna. As part of BC Ferries’ plan to build or replace 21 vessels over the next 15 years, the company monitors the international market for any used vessels that may fit its service needs.