B.C. Ferries’ Howe Sound Queen is being taken out of service in the first week of June and will be sold.
According to an advertisement on the GovDeals website, the ferry was built in Quebec in 1964 and is 74 metres long and 18.5 metres wide. It has the capacity to carry 300 passengers and crew and 52 vehicles.
On its current Crofton (Vancouver Island) to Vesuvius (Salt Spring Island) route, the Howe Sound Queen makes 84 round-trip sailings per week and travels on average 470 nautical miles.
The Quinitsa will take over the Crofton-Vesuvius route.
The Howe Sound Queen is being auctioned online, with a bid deadline of 5 p.m. on April 30. As of Monday morning, the highest bidder was offering $61,500.
The ferry first served in Quebec before being bought by B.C. Ferries and put on the Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island run. Later, the aging ferry was put on shorter and gentler runs.
The Crofton-Vesuvius route which it served is about to get a facelift as part of B.C. Ferries’ $3.9-billion capital plan.
The plan calls for improvements at both the Vesuvius Bay and Crofton terminals. The Vesuvius improvements, which will start in 2022, will include replacing the marine structures and timber trestle as well as upgrading upland components.
At the Crofton terminal, the marine structures and timber trestle will be replaced and upgraded. That work should start in 2022.
B.C. Ferries has set aside $1.4 billion from its capital plan for terminal upgrades.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected. An earlier version had the name of the B.C. Ferries vessel that will replace the Howe Sound Queen on the Crofton-Vesuvius route wrong. It will be the Quinitsa.