Central Coaster ship-shape again
A freight vessel that plies the waters of the Central Coast has a new look and a long life ahead.
Shearwater Marine has finished a refit on Central Coaster. The year-long project done at Arrow Marine is complete and she is ready to begin serving towns, villages, and camps along the central coast.
Seen dockside at the Shearwater Marine terminal in Port Hardy on Wednesday, the snub nose, heavy hauler, boasts a self-loading crane, a long roll-on-roll-off drawbridge front ramp and twin diesel power mounted on a flat bottom barge that makes her highly maneuverable in tight harbours and skinny water.
“The refit took longer and was more expensive than we anticipated,” said project manager, Brad Widsten. “But, it was worth it. Now she’s good for 20 or 30 years of service.”
Captain Mike Heavenor said the Central Coaster is set up to deliver all manner of cargo to the residents of the Central Coast.
The captain, who has 39 years of experience, is excited about the new vessels capabilities.
“We can deliver frozen and refrigerated groceries, fuels and lubricants, equipment, and even blasting materials.
“We are making semi-weekly runs during the winter and fall. In the summer we will start weekly service,” said Vida Friesen, the Port Hardy terminal manager. “We can do pickup and deliveries from as far south as Richmond all the way up to Kitimat and all points in between.”
One of the fitters who worked on the Central Coaster at Arrow Marine accompanied her north on her break-in voyage has decided to stay on as a deckhand. Stein Wahl, who is descended from a long line of boat builders, said he feels a connection to the vessel after spending a year resurrecting her.
The Port Hardy Shearwater Marine terminal is located on Jensen Cover Road across from Ecoscape Cabins.