52-year-old Queen of Burnaby on block, ‘limited interest’

The Queen of Burnaby ferry has attracted “limited interest” after being offered for sale through an online auction, a B.C. Ferries official said. “Ship brokers are another option for us to sell used vessels,” Deborah Marshall, Ferries spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

The outcome will be known at 3 p.m. today when the auction closes. “Used ferries typically take a while to sell as the pool of potential buyers is limited,” Marshall said in a statement. “The market generally determines the price. However, for B.C. Ferries, the intent is to mitigate asset retirement and disposal costs. Therefore the price suffices to the extent that it accomplishes that intent.”

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B.C. Ferries does not disclose sale prices. It does not want to influence future sales of other vessels. The Queen of Nanaimo will be offered for sale later this year, Marshall said. That ferry serves the Southern Gulf Island and Tsawwassen.

B.C. Ferries only sells used vessels to responsible owners in the secondary market, Marshall said. Priority is given to suitable operators intending to keep the vessels operating, she said. However, if there are no such offers, B.C. Ferries will look at ship breakers, who dismantle vessels for recycling.

The Queen of Burnaby was built 52 years ago at the now-defunct Victoria Machinery Depot. It serves the Comox-Powell River route and will be replaced in the spring by the new $84-million Salish Orca, the first of three liquefied natural-gas fuelled vessels constructed in Poland for B.C. Ferries.

The Queen of Burnaby is nearly 426 feet long, can carry 168 vehicles and has capacity for 904 passengers and crew.

It completes 54 sailings every week, covering 918 nautical miles, the GovDeals.com website states. It was most recently into dry dock in July 2016. At that time, it was going through repairs for the second time that year because it leaked oil via its starboard propeller.

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