The newest SeaBus ferry vessel was seen performing its sea trials in local waters earlier today.
This vessel, named Burrard Chinook, first arrived in North Vancouver from Damen Shipyards in Europe in May 2019, but shortly, after it was discovered that modifications adding buoyancy would be necessary.
It was then sent to a shipyard on Vancouver Island for modifications that were scheduled to allow the vessel to be put into service by Summer 2020.
But COVID-19 affected the operations of a shipyard in Singapore that was manufacturing parts for the vessel, and work on the modifications was delayed as a result.
“The Burrard Chinook is undergoing sea trials today to test its functionality and operations. After sea trials, the vessel needs final regulatory certification from Transport Canada and some refresher training with our crew before it can go into service,” said TransLink spokesperson Dan Mountain in an email to Daily Hive Urbanized.
The budget for the vessel is $32 million, and its launch into service is now anticipated before the end of this summer.
The use of Burrard Chinook replaces the use of an original SeaBus vessel currently used for regular service, the Burrard Beaver, which will now be used as a spare. It gives TransLink the ability to provide the eventual restart of 10-minute sailings without having to cancel sailings if there are unplanned maintenance or repairs required on one of the vessels.
TransLink used the Burrard Beaver as the temporary regular service vessel for the launch of 10-minute sailings in 2019.
The other SeaBus vessels are the 2009-built Burrard Pacific Breeze, and 2014-built Burrard Otter II. The first two vessels built in 1976 and the Burrard Pacific Breeze were made in BC shipyards, and the latter — easily distinguished by its large windows — was constructed in Singapore. The Burrard Otter, one of the first SeaBus vessels, has been retired.