Building two more ferries for Halifax-Dartmouth service

John DeMings
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Good things come in threes for A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd

Halifax Regional Municipality has approved a $8.8 million contract for A.F. Theriault and Son of Meteghan River to build two more ferries for the city’s cross-harbour passenger service.

The Meteghan River shipyard just delivered a $4.16 million ferry for Metro Transit’s passenger service.

The new ferries are replacing vessels that entered service as far back as 1978.

The first ferry built by Theriault & Son for HRM was delivered in April and its construction involved a learning curve. A start now on a new ferry will be swift, says shipyard general manager Gilles Theriault.

“The new ferries are good for morale and employees. It’s always a positive thing,” said Theriault.

Construction of the 79-foot ferry is expected to take a year, with delivery planned for 2015. A third vessel is to be started about a year after with it entering service in 2018.

The just-completed ferry, christened the ‘Christopher Stannix’,  will become the fourth ferry for the city’s cross-harbour service permitting Metro Transit to double the peak hour service and add new off-peak service on its Woodside route.

Metro Transit ferry operators are training to use new electronic joysticks to steer boats rather than mechanical wheels.

The system is similar to that already in use on Digby Neck ferries, said Theriault.

Theriault last December emphasized that the ferry project is important to southwestern Nova Scotia.

“We are proud to be building this ferry here, keeping jobs in Nova Scotia and workers in rural Nova Scotia. The project includes work for all the trades—welding, fitters, plumbers, carpenters and electrical workers,” he said.

A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd. is one of the largest private boatyards in Atlantic Canada, and since 1938 has built over 600 vessels of up to 150 feet.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada

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