I quote from this mornings Tradewinds,
"Canada’s Nautisol is studying the feasibility of a new fast ferry service
from Victoria to Vancouver, with the backing of foreign investors.
The marine technology company’s boss Don Stein told local media that three
overseas groups are ready with $150m in funding for the 90-minute run…..
…If all goes according to plan, two 50-metre-long, hybrid hovercraft-catamaran
ferries would be built in Vancouver and launched late next year."
For those too young to remember or from away, this would be the third or fourth attempt at such a high speed service between Victoria and Vancouver over the last 20 or 30 years. I do believe that one of the previous incarnations was a SES ship as well.
The problem is, as I see it, that no one wants to be trapped in a small
ferry for 90 minutes. People like to be able to get up and walk around,
go out on deck, have their lunch or dinner or go back down to their car. The Boeing Jetfoil ran for
several years and from all accounts was very fast and fairly
comfortable but I remember reading the complaints that there wasn't any
deck to get up and walk around on. You sat in close rows of airline type seating all facing one direction. For all of their faults and our complaints the BC Ferries are large, pretty comfortable in all but the worst weather and despite what you read, the price is not completely out of whack. Tough to compete with.
Perusing their website (www.nautisol.com)It would appear that the ships will be propelled by gas turbines. I'll be interested to see how this works because of course gas turbines are not the cheapest way to propel a ship, even the Millennium Falcon pictured above. Small ship, relatively high operating cost, low number of passengers, I'd like to see the business plan.