The MV Quinitsa is back in service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island for about 10 days as BC Ferries is undergoing a cable upgrades project on the Baynes Sound Connector.
The project, which began on April 12, will involve upgrading the bull wheel drive system and sheaves, which connect the vessel to the three cables. Additional preventative maintenance work will be undertaken on several drive and hydraulic systems.
The Quinitsa will be providing service during the refit period and BC Ferries noted there will be no impact on the sailing schedule. They added there will be several minor adjustments to the vehicle exit and holding lanes at the Denman West terminal for the duration of the refit period.
The $15-million, 78.5 metre cable ferry began service late January 2016 with ‘soft sailings’ and regular sailings in February. It is capable of carrying 50 vehicles and 150 passengers, and with a crossing of about 1,900 meters, it is believed to be the longest cable ferry in the world.
While the ferry has met the corporation’s expectations, some Island residents continue to raise concerns over its dependability. Mechanical difficulties have often plagued the ferry and in July 2019, some Denman Island residents organized a clean-up to collect plastic bits that were shed throughout Baynes Sound from the cables of the BSC.
Last summer, BC Ferries replaced the first of three plastic-covered cables with steel ones. Astrid Braunschmidt, manager of communications and media relations for the corporation said at the time the issue was a manufacturer’s defect.
They have since replaced all three plastic-coated cables and said the upgraded drive system and sheaves are designed to suit the new cables and will be installed by BC Ferries.