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.

Just Posted

A rainy July is normal for the Okanagan

Rainy days in July haven’t been seen since before 2014

PET OF THE WEEK: Kahlua needs a forever home

Cat lives at Critteraid animal sanctuary in Summerland

Man fleeing police arrested in Summerland

Incident occurred on Tuesday evening

Updated: Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Bridgeman wins in Summerland low net competition

Summerland golfers compete in regular league play

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Trial date set for Kelowna dark web trafficking couple

Cassie Bonthoux and James Nelson face eight separate charges

Okanagan orchard left rigid after worst season in 11 years

Lake Country’s Witzke Orchards looks to bounce back after poor weather destroys crops

Cherries ripening for the picking in Salmon Arm

U-pick owner says it’s not all doom and gloom as it might be for some Okanagan growers

Salmon Arm to stay the course on plastic bag ban

City’s mayor sees good news in BC Court of Appeal decision against Victoria bylaw

Time is short for baby Okanagan deer, Gilbert: Dr. Oz

West Kelowna’s Dr. Oz needs the public’s help finding sanctuary for injured deer

Most Read