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

CVRD reopening head office, playgrounds, washrooms and more

Move part of staged reopening plan for all district facilities

Editorial: What comes next for the homeless?

We hope there is a plan in the works to make this housing-for-all push more permanent.

Paintings stolen from Honeymoon Bay studio returned

Hutchings said he received a lot of feedback from the community

3 people found violating court imposed curfews in Cowichan

People are placed on curfews for a variety of public safety reasons.

No parking on Thain Road, Shawnigan police remind

Warmer weather brings complaints near Cobble Hill quarry

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Most Read