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Photos and video of the new SeaBus sailing to Vancouver

The Burrard Pacific Breeze sails toward the terminal at Lonsdale Quay. Photo by Charlotte Boychuk.

The Burrard Pacific Breeze sails toward the terminal at Lonsdale Quay. Photo by Charlotte Boychuk.

I’ve got photos of the new SeaBus, which sailed into town last Friday!

Charlotte Boychuk, our intrepid photographer from CMBC’s communications department, managed to get on a work boat and snap some photos of the SeaBus in the water.

See all of Charlotte’s amazing photos in this Flickr set.

Also, here’s some more SeaBus goodies from Trevor Harrison and Terry Muirhead. Edit: Plus some more from P.A. Keenleyside!

First, Trevor Harrison sent the above video of the new SeaBus in its berth at Lonsdale Quay.

We also have three photos below from Terry Muirhead. (I’ve also put them up in this Flickr set.)

The new SeaBus, docked at the north terminal. Photo by Terry Muirhead.

The new SeaBus, docked at the north terminal. Photo by Terry Muirhead.

The new SeaBus, docked at the north terminal. Photo by Terry Muirhead.

The new SeaBus, docked at the north terminal. Photo by Terry Muirhead.

The new SeaBus, docked at the north terminal. Photo by Terry Muirhead.

The new SeaBus, docked at the north terminal. Photo by Terry Muirhead.

Edit: Finally, P.A. Keenleyside has sent along some nautical maps where he has tracked the journey of the Pacific Breeze to the terminal. Click the maps at right for a larger version!

Route description Map
Burrard Pacific Breeze left Esquimalt at 0722, sailing out at 12 knots. She then had Beacon Hill Park on the port hand at approximatly 0730.
Leaving Victoria harbour she had Trial Island on the port hand at 0754, her speed was 15 knots. She headed north along Haro Strait and entered Swanson Channel at 0930, her speed being 13 knots.
She sailed through the Gulf Islands, having North Pender Island on her starboard hand at 1000. She was still holding at 13 knots.
She later entered Active Pass having Helen Point on the starboard hand at 1017. She reduced speed to 11 knots while navigating the channel (there were no other vessels in Active Pass at the time of her transit).

At 1031, she exited Active Pass and had Georgina Point Light Mayne Island) on her starboard hand. Ahead at 20 degrees to port was the Coastal Celebration, steaming south towards Swartz Bay.

Once out of Active Pass, she changed course for a heading of 353 degrees. She changed ends, to test the opposite engines, and steamed along using the opposite engines for about 10 minutes.

She changed ends again (original stern end) for 7 minutes, and changed ends again steaming at 13 knots in that configuration for about 20 minutes, ending at 1110.

She was off Sand Heads at 1143. She then passed by YVR at 1210, and had Point Grey on the starboard hand at 1232, still keeping a steady 13 knots.

She was off the Point Grey Bell Buoy (off Spanish Banks) at approximately 1243, still keeping to 13 knots.

The Burrard Pacific Breeze approached Prospect Point at 1305, cutting speed to 7.3 knots to navigate First Narrows.

She then had Brockton Point on the starboard hand at 1314, from which she went directly offshore from the North Vancouver Seabus Terminal, arriving there at approximatly 1320.


  • By Allan Kuan, October 13, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

    Can anybody from TransLink or the crew onboard the ferry describe the travel experience of this new ferry? It rides higher than the older ones right? =O

  • By zack, October 13, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

    Yikes!! =O That first photo scares the heck out of me! It’s like the new SeaBus is gliding rather than floating on the water, just like the seaplanes. Is TransLink going to put the new ferry at the same height as the other two, or is it just the way it’s built and no reason for concern?

  • By Shane, October 13, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

    It is probably riding high because it is not completely outfitted on the inside yet.

  • By Terry, October 14, 2009 @ 12:08 am

    Shane when I took the Photographs on Monday, there were Sea Bus Crew Members getting a 1st hand look at it. From what I could see with the Open Passenger Doors, the Interior was all completed.

  • By Jamey, October 14, 2009 @ 8:03 am

    Haha it does right pretty high off the water… Kinda odd looking. Curse new lightweight technology!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, October 14, 2009 @ 9:46 am

    zack: The SeaBus does ride higher than the older SeaBuses since it’s built to be lighter and more fuel-efficient. So it’s intended, and no cause for concern! As the papers reported a while back, adjustments are being made to the terminals to accommodate the new height. (The adjustment cost comes out of the contingency fund for this project, so it’s not an unexpected expense).

    I’m not sure if it will always be as high as indicated in the photograph though — as Shane says, there may be more outfitting to do still. Let me see if I can find out any more about that though.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, October 14, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

    An update: I’m told that the SeaBus is indeed sitting higher in the photos because it’s not fully loaded with fuel and water.

    Allan: I’ve also passed your request along to SeaBus staff… we will see if any of the crew are willing to share their experience!

  • By LB, October 14, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

    Oh – shiny! When does it go into service?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, October 14, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

    LB: The estimate right now is December. It still needs to pass tests and certification from Transport Canada, plus SeaBus staff need to be trained on the new ship.

  • By Marvin B, October 16, 2009 @ 9:43 am

    I just read in the newspaper that once the olympics are over, service will again be 2 seabuses as Translink can not afford to run 3. All that money for a seabus and renovating the terminal to accomidate it! At least couldn’t Translink have insisted on the exact same dimensions, weight, etc of the existing boats??? No wonder this outfit is going broke.

  • By LB, October 16, 2009 @ 10:47 am

    Marvin – relax. And don’t believe everything you read.

    I believe the reason we go back to 2 seabuses post-olympics is because the one of the old ones will go off to be overhauled. once the old ones are both overhauled, we’ll have 3 in service.

    Jhenifer, is that correct?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, October 16, 2009 @ 11:06 am

    Marvin, LB:

    OK, so first about the SeaBus design. I’ve asked our fleet management dept about why the the design is different from the old ones. The answer is that the new SeaBus is different for a host of reasons, including reduced fuel consumption, tighter safety and environmental restrictions since the 1970s, and improved technology. Here’s the full details:

    The changes were driven by TransLink’s desire to reduce fuel consumption, reduce GHG and CAC emissions and to minimize the wake (to reduce erosion of the shoreline in Burrard Inlet). New Transport Canada regulation also dictated changes in seating (to reduce flammability) and to increase mustering space around the life rafts, hull compartmentization (to reduce flooding hazard if hull integrity was breached. Changes in technology also permitted some improved packaging by moving the air conditioning/heating equipment up on the roof and out of the centre section of the passenger compartment as on the old SeaBuses.

    About the two/three SeaBuses question — well, our situation has changed, and it depends on funding, actually.

    Check out the comments in this post for full detail on the current situation. Briefly: we’re committed to replacing the two SeaBuses, and originally intended to just refit the old SeaBuses. However, cost estimates for that refit were higher than expected, and the refitted boats would still have a high risk of fatigue cracking in their hulls. So new builds are the new path, and the cost of adding 3 new SeaBuses under this project is still expensive. And as you know, we have some financial challenges these days.

    So whether we get 2 or 3 SeaBuses is dependent on the funding determined by the Mayors’ Council on October 23. The max level funding (around 450m) would fund 3 SeaBuses. At the other two levels of funding (130m, no new funding) this new SeaBus would replace one of the existing vessels. The other older vessel would then eventually be replaced by another newly built SeaBus. As of now, though, our CEO has talked about expecting the 130m level of funding.

  • By Cliff, October 18, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    While I think the new SeaBus is great, the new one doesn’t seem very iconic sitting that high off the water.

    Call me a sucker for the classics.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, October 22, 2009 @ 10:03 am

    Allan Kuan:

    So I did send your request for a crewmember’s experience over to SeaBus, and here’s what I was sent.

    Here is a comment from one of the SeaBus Captains who was onboard for the crossing. The ferry was delivered by the shipyard. Our crewmembers were onboard for familiarization and training.

    “I felt very fortunate to be one of the six SeaBus employees making the maiden voyage from Esquimalt to North Vancouver. For our six person crew it was a familiarization run and formed part of our overall training by Victoria Shipyard. I was so focussed on the systems and new vessel that I could not fully appreciate the beautiful day that unfolded for our big trip. We set sail at the break of dawn and watched the sun rise soon after leaving Esquimalt harbour. The seas were calm and the winds were light…a perfect start for the Pacific Breeze. The only motion that we encountered was from the wake of other vessels. After leaving Active Pass, we spun the ship about; allowing for the opportunity to operate the vessel from the opposite helm position. Soon after passing Sandheads, I took the helm for the first time. Although the steering controllers were different than the existing two Seabuses, the overall feel and control was similar and she responded well. Shortly after taking control, I realized something was not right and we were able to determine that one of the four right angle drive units was hunting and not tracking as it should. The shipyard captain isolated the steering of the one unit and we continued on into Vancouver Harbour, landing initially in our newly modified West Berth at the North Terminal and then shortly afterwards moving into the West maintenance berth completing the voyage and safe delivery of the third SeaBus.”

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » The November Buzzer is now out! — November 13, 2009 @ 9:01 am

  2. The Buzzer blog » The Burrard Beaver SeaBus gets a new look — June 11, 2012 @ 9:00 am

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