New barges to bolster harbour ops


Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

A quartet of barges are set to make water-side ship maintenance a little easier.

Four Stevedoring barges, constructed by Canadian Maritime Engineering of Port Alberni, were towed to the base by tugboat, and became crown assets on March 12.

After the final certifying documentation is received from the contractor, there will be an official transfer of ownership from crown assets to Port Operations and Emergency Services Branch. Then, they will be put into use by Auxiliary Fleet crews.

“The new equipment will make our work easier as temporary work platforms currently being used are much larger and cumbersome,” says George Morris, QHM Assistant Engineering Superintendent. “These new Stevedoring barges have the same purpose but are easier to manoeuvre in tight spaces near the jetties.” 

Each barge measures approximately 6 x 12 metres and features replaceable wooden deck tops. They are the replacement for the YC50 Series scows that have been out of service since 2016. The much larger 250 series barges have been used by work crews as a temporary fix since YC50 Series scows were phased out. 

The new barges will be a platform for personnel working on a ship’s hull; painting of anchors; repairs to the Cantass and Nixie equipment and the sonar and torpedo decoys towed by warships; transporting equipment across the harbour, including submarine casings, brows, stands, berthing equipment and other items; and used as fenders for visiting ships.

Their wooden deck tops are 20 centimetre thick and built to withstand the rigours of every Queen’s Harbour Master and fleet evolution, says Morris.

“Should one of the beams be damaged to the point of needing replacement, the process of making repairs is much easier.” 

The newly acquired Stevedoring are currently tied up alongside C4 jetty in Dockyard until the completion of the Small Boat Floats project in 2022.


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