B.C. Ferries is hoping there’s a buyer out there interested in keeping three 58-year-old recently retired ferries working into the future.
Failing that, the vessels could be recycled or dismantled or used on land in some way, the company said.
The Mayne Queen, the M.V. Bowen Queen, and the Powell River Queen, all built in 1965 in Victoria, are all part of a new request for expressions of interest closing Dec. 13.
B.C. Ferries could issue a formal request for proposals after the current invitation closes.
The workhorse ferries were all retired this year or last, after carrying thousands of passengers and vehicles between coastal communities, ferrying kids to school and island residents to appointments and delivering goods from island to island.
On the Mayne Queen’s final day of regular service a year ago, passengers gathered on Pender, Mayne, Galiano and Saturna islands to honour the vessel and its crew.
B.C. Ferries is in the process of revamping its fleet using standard designs for a smaller number of ferry classes, with new Island- and Salish-class ferries dedicated to the smaller routes.
The Bowen, Powell River and Mayne Queens are considered to be in the same class, although they are not identical, B.C. Ferries said. Each is 287.7 feet long and can carry close to 60 vehicles.
B.C. Ferries says in the request for expressions of interest that purchasers seeking the vessels for ongoing trade or commercial use would be preferred.
Anyone buying all three would find interchangeable equipment, machinery and spare parts.
Since retirement, the three have been decommissioned and are being maintained at B.C. Ferries facilities.
Those interested in one of the vessels are asked to describe its intended use, when a sale would close, where the vessel or vessels would operate, and how it would be moved, if the plan is for it to leave B.C.
If a potential buyer wants to recycle a vessel, the submission must include where that would take place, how it might be moved from B.C. to its final site for disposal and the timeline.
Recycling proposals must also include how a site complies with international, federal, provincial and municipal regulations for ship recycling. B.C. Ferries would also want to know how a particular buyer has completed vessel-recycling projects in the past.
The company is seeking cost estimates from buyers for each vessel or a combination of vessels.
Pricing can be revised in future procurement stages, the company said.