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[Marine] Ferry services to/from Victoria harbour


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#21 G-Man

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:19 AM

Here is a sketch of what a surface effect (not affect!) vessel looks like.


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#22 G-Man

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:20 AM

For the techies

http://www.seacoaster.com/Air-Assisted_Catamaran_Concepts/

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#23 G-Man

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:23 AM

I think this would be cool though not sure if there is a justification for 4 round trips daily. Also I bet this would put PCL out of business. I mean would rather take a bus between 2 ferry terminals and also take an hour and a half ferry ride or would you like to take one ferry for perhaps a couple dollars more that gets you directly to your destination in a third the time. Seems like a no brainer.

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#24 gumgum

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:32 AM

I'd use it all the time!

#25 gumgum

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:53 AM

Think of the possibilities though. 70 minutes to d/t van and back. It could mean a huge influx of untapped tourist dollars from Vancouver urbanites, who normally wouldn't bother with traditional ferry travel. Not to mention I'd finally have easy access to stores that actually carry a decent supply of shoes for my size 13 feet!

Seriouly though... think about it. You'd see people actually commuting on a daily basis. This has very significant implications.

#26 G-Man

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:57 AM

Kind of funny that you could get to Vancouver in the same time it takes BC Transit to get you to Swartz Bay.

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#27 gumgum

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:23 AM

I've measured the distance between harbour to harbour, via what I would imagine the route - rougly 140km.
To cover distance would mean it would have to average, what, over 120km/h? Is that possible?

#28 G-Man

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:28 AM

Some of the craft I have seen on google are capable of 60 to 70 knots which is about 110 to 125 or so. Though you got to wonder what would happen if you hit a log or an orca.

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#29 D.L.

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

day trips would be a breeze

#30 Icebergalley

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:56 AM

A Fare comparison?

Only for those who leave from Bellville and Douglas and can walk to either mode..... not for those who leave from Haliburton and Pat Bay and then it gets better...

You can do the same comparison with Helijet.. Harbour Air, PCL.. and BC Transit's "milk run".

We have competition in the market place that allows people to trade off cash for time... and a variety of servers... BC Transit from here a 10.00 ?/ ferry ride.. a PCL to the Airport.. or the Train.. Soon it will be Tsawwassan to the RAV terminal..

You have to add - getting to the harbour time from multiple origins in the region.. and getting to your destination on the lower mainland to the mix..

Would work for me from my downtown location, to a downtown meeting in Vanc.

An interesting market study to do...

#31 gumgum

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:59 AM

James Bay could be a Vancouver suburb in a couple of years.
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#32 G-Man

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 12:04 PM

I think that this would be better if marketed at tourists and those who want to visit downtown.

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#33 gumgum

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 12:40 PM

Marketed or not, some will use it for commuting.

#34 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 12:47 PM

I agree it'll be great, if the service can avoid the seasickness problem of the catamarans from a decade or so ago. I have a friend who took them a couple of times, she's not prone to seasickness usually, but she said these were vomit trips from hell. Ewww.
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#35 gumgum

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 12:52 PM

I've taken the one to Seattle, and the only time it get sickening is when it was in the middle of the Juan De Fuca strait, where the waves were large and rolling. It would not reach such open waters, even in the middle of the Georgia, which is more shallow anyway.

#36 Mike K.

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 11:11 AM

More details on the Victoria-Vancouver harbour 500-passenger ferry service.

Fast ferries times two: gentlemen, start your engines

By steve weatherbe
Business Examiner Editor
Mar 02 2007

Ed Life refits the Nanaimo HarbourLynx while newcomer Don Stein vows to build a new vessel for Victoria to Vancouver

They couldn’t be less alike in so many ways: Ed Life is a community stalwart who has stuck with the high technology sector for 35 years; Don Stein has worked around the world as ship captain, helicopter pilot and diver. Ed Life is laid back while Stein is passionate.

But both men want to run fast passenger ferries between Vancouver Island harbours and Vancouver’s downtown.

Life, past commodore of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, developer, community philanthropist and owner/founder/president of a pair of high tech service firms in Victoria, Tecnet and Cantec Fire Alarm Systems, is much further along. Last year he bought the insolvent HarbourLynx operation which had run since 2003 and is waiting only for a new engine to resume service. “It will get here when it gets here,” says Life, perhaps rendered unflappable by years of crewing in long-distance sail boat races. Life doesn’t want to predict a startup date when so many factors beyond his control can intercede, including the CN strike at the Vancouver dockyards and the sheer balkiness of officialdom. Still, he hopes the engine will arrive from Germany by March 14 and hopes to be sailing the HarbourLynx—under a new name—by the month after.

Stein, virtually unknown to the public in these waters until a month ago, is surprisingly far along with his plans, even though he proposes to use a relatively novel “surface effect” design combining “the best features of hovercraft and catamarans and eliminating the worst.”

“I am ready to order the aluminum next month,” says Stein, and right after that he is ready to start building an automated factory in South America to make catamaran barges on the same principles as the ferry he proposes to run between the Victoria and Vancouver downtowns.

While Stein reports that his Nautisol Inc. has had to fight off investors who want to come aboard his $20-million project, Life is the sole owner of the Nanaimo service, though he acknowledges solid backing from the TD Bank Financial Group. If things fail, Life is the loser.

He is confident of success but concedes that in the world of ships, oceans and engines, a lot can go wrong.

For instance, the “catastrophic failure,” that wrecked HarbourLynx’s previous fortunes along with one of the craft’s two engines last spring. Without a spare and therefore without revenues, the venture, by then showing a small profit on operations, had to fold. When diesel engines of the sort powering fast catamarans fail, they destroy themselves instantly. And there are no $500,000-spares lying around. Life has already ordered a second engine in addition to the replacement. And down the road, he plans to buy a second boat.

Life gives several reasons for getting into the ferry business: first, his long interest in boats and engines, both of which, he claims, develop “quirks and personalities of their own”; second, a desire to serve the community, which he thinks deserves a much faster ferry link to the Mainland than Crown-owned BC Ferries appears willing to provide. Third, “the high technology industry is mature. It is no longer growing the way it has over the last 34 years I’ve been in it.” Transportation between Vancouver Island and the Mainland, on the other hand, is ripe for big-time growth.

From his experience in property developments on Vancouver Island, Life is convinced that the people moving here will want to get to Vancouver more often than current island-dwellers—if only to use Vancouver’s airport. “Vancouver is their gateway to the globe.”

As well, many who are moving to Vancouver Island are in semi-retirement from Vancouver jobs—or seek to be. They want to ease their way into retirement with a commute to Vancouver a few days a week.

An hour-long, downtown-to-downtown ferry commute for—ideally—half the price of a seaplane trip, makes this dream possible, says Life. He even argues that it would be faster for Victorians to drive up to Nanaimo and take his ferry to downtown Vancouver than to take their cars aboard the BC Ferries leviathans and then drive them into Vancouver.

Life’s craft holds 298 passengers but breaks even at 100.

Stein won’t disclose those kinds of details. But he has reams of material to show that surface-effect craft are feasible. His would hold 500 passengers and travel at 60 knots. It would be a “true” catamaran in that it would ride up on the water rather than displacing water like BC Ferries’ ill-starred FastCats. This would require much less effort from the engines, which must also create the cushion of air that the vessel would ride out of the water on. The design has already been developed for the American and several Scandinavian navies and put into operation in 70 naval craft and more than 30 civilian ships, says Stein.

Stein’s current home port is Calgary, which makes up for a dearth of navigable waterways with a sea of oil and natural gas. Energy industry money is backing his project, he says. The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is as well: it has assigned him a berthing space near the Johnson Street Bridge. The Vancouver Port Authority was less accommodating, says Stein, until he “threatened them with the Transportation Act,” which insists that port authorities operate as public servants rather than cabals for existing users.

Stein plans to collaborate with an existing air service at the Vancouver end (Life too has plans to pool ticket services with airlines) and proposes offering passengers the use of tourist-friendly Smart Cars for those who choose not to walk, bus or train to their destination. These cars would “ask” the occupant for his or her dining preference and recommend an appropriate restaurant from a list of sponsors. These and other sponsors using the sides of the Smart Cars for advertising would pay for the fleet’s operation, says Stein.

Canadian Pacific operated a Seattle-Victoria-Vancouver downtown ferry service in the first half of the last century but efforts to revive that with aluminum-hulled catamarans have so far failed. The NDP government’s FastCats were the most notorious.

But Stena Lines flopped with its smaller Royal Sealink operation in the early 1990s, nicknamed Royal Sealimp by some wags after one vessel bounced off a BC Ferry on a foggy trip through Active Pass.

Still, Sealink made money on its Nanaimo run. Darrell Bryan, who as owner of Clipper Navigation has been proving since 1986 the feasibility of fast catamaran ferry service on the Victoria to Seattle route, gives Ed Life’s Nanaimo venture a better chance of success than Stein’s Victoria-based service.

“The Victoria-Vancouver run is fraught with challenges,” he says, not least of which is how crowded Victoria’s Inner Harbour already is with his passenger-only Clippers, the Coho car ferry, and several hourly floatplanes.

“It works surprisingly well,” says Bryan, but he wonders whether it would continue to do so if a 500-passenger craft were added to the mix on a route cutting across the seaplane lanes.

An expanding part of Clipper’s business is selling packages, says Bryan, and he sees potential tie-ins with Life’s run: tourists could complete a great circle by bus from Seattle to Vancouver, a ferry to Nanaimo, the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway to Victoria, and the Clipper back to Seattle.

On a more cautious note, Bryan offers a variant of the old saw. “Ferries are a good way to make a small fortune. Just start with a big one.” BE

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#37 G-Man

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 07:57 PM

Well they sure don't give away who they favour in that article do they :)

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#38 G-Man

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 12:22 PM

Province renews terminal interest



By Brennan Clarke
News staff
mailto:bclarke@vicnews.com
Mar 14 2007


Panel has 90 days to make recommendations

Just when it seemed like the redevelopment of the Belleville Ferry Terminal was dead in the water, along came a ray of hope for the much-delayed project.

Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe last week unveiled a “blue ribbon” task force of community leaders charged with recommending redevelopment options for the neglected international departure and arrival point.

Redevelopment of the site has been planned for, talked about and studied at length for the better part of a decade, with no measurable results.

The difference this time, Lowe said, is genuine willpower on the part of the provincial government and Stan Hagen, Minister of Tourism, Sport and the Arts.

“The minister and I have had some discussions about the site and he is very supportive of making Belleville a priority, especially with 2010 (the Winter Olympics in Whistler) coming and border security being such a big issue right now,” Lowe said.

The panel that Lowe appointed last week features elite members of the local business community, such as Terry Farmer of Farmer Construction, developer Mohni Jawl, Irish Times Pub owner Matt MacNeil and Devon Properties president Rob Hunter.

Also on the panel are WCG international vice-president Robin Adair, Victoria Clipper president Darrell Bryan, City Spaces consultant Deane Strongitharm, Starr McMichael, president of Starboard Enterprises, consultant Eric Donald, Budget Rent-A-Car owner Judy Scott, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority chair Don Prittie and Tim Van Alstine, president of the James Bay Neighbourhood Environment Association.

The panel has been given 90 days to provide “conceptual and financial recommendations” to Lowe and Hagen.

“I am convinced that if we come up with a financially feasible vision, both the province and the city will want to get going on it,” Farmer said, adding that one of the main challenges will be devising a revenue-generating scheme for the site that will reduce the amount of public money going toward the project.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is pressuring Victoria to upgrade the facility, which serves as a border crossing between Vancouver Island and Washington State, Farmer said.

In 1999, Ahmed Ressam was arrested by U.S. authorities while attempting to enter Washington State with a load of dynamite in the trunk of his car. In 2005, Ressam was convicted of plotting to blow up Los Angeles International Airport.

Van Alstine said the panel’s first step will be plowing through hundreds of pages of studies and reports that have been done on the Belleville Terminal in recent years.

“There’s an enormous amount of material,” he said.

Detailed plans for a 45,000 square-foot main terminal and 10,000 square-foot retail and commercial building on the Belleville site were completed nearly six years ago, but shelved in favour of further planning and study.

When the Liberal government took power in 2001, hopes were high in the business community that the Gordon Campbell government would secure a private partner and forge ahead. The City of Victoria even set aside $500,000 for pedestrian improvements as part of the redevelopment.

In January 2005, the province gave the Provincial Capital Commission $100,000 in cash to fund a “detailed transportation plan” for the multi-million-dollar ferry terminal upgrade.

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#39 Mike K.

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 01:03 PM

“I am convinced that if we come up with a financially feasible vision, both the province and the city will want to get going on it,” Farmer said, adding that one of the main challenges will be devising a revenue-generating scheme for the site that will reduce the amount of public money going toward the project.


Why does this statement reek of "[url=http://www.vibrantvictoria.ca/articles/0006_1.htm:e1e2f]under-building[/url:e1e2f]?"

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#40 G-Man

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Posted 14 March 2007 - 01:08 PM

Yup I agree. If anyone looks at an aerial view of the lot from the Coho Terminal up to the Clipper terminal the space is absolutely massive. The potential to create a victoria icon is here. That space should be part hotel / part convention centre and part terminal. There is easily enough space to build a convention centre that would actually attract real conventions not just the tiny ones that go to the current centre.

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