--> Getting It Right: Adrift at Sea...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Adrift at Sea...

The NDP and the shipbuilding industry in our province can’t make up their minds.

We all remember the NDP’s tenure with respect to their “stellar” performance with BC Ferries: little funding for upgrades, money poured into fast ferries that just didn’t…well…float.

In fact, five years later we are just starting to see the costs for taxpayers of ignoring the aging fleet for those ten, long years.

Duct tape aside, many ships in the fleet require massive retrofits or outright junking.

The shipbuilders unions are demanding that BC Ferries spend more than necessary on fleet upgrades because they feel it is their right to be able to build any type of ferry they want.

It also helps them justify soaking the taxpayers to prop up an industry that isn’t competitive, beyond a few profitable niches.

This whole mess was thrown into focus after the sinking of the Queen of the North.

Initially Gary Coons, the NDP MLA for the North Coast said that the government should spare no expense in getting a replacement boat in the water right away – that the livelihoods of countless northerners depended on a new vessel as soon as possible.

We all agreed with him on that point.

BC Ferries is subsidized on its North Coast service by the taxpayers. Those runs don’t make money, but provide a much-need service to isolated coastal communities.

After the tragic sinking of the Queen of the North, BC Ferries and the BC Government sprang into action in order to replace the boat quickly, just like Coons wanted.

Now, six months later, having remembered that unions provide the bread and butter for his campaign funds, he is singing another tune.

He’s using the same set of messages that the President of the Shipbuilders in using: that it is unfair that BC shipyards didn’t make the cut for the new northern boat because they couldn’t build it fast enough.

They would put the livelihood of Northern BC residents on the line in order to line their own pockets.

BC ship builders have not, frankly, had it so good in many, many years.

Over the last year alone, BC Ferries spent $180 million in BC’s shipyards. Workers are busy retrofitting boats and building some of the new, smaller ferries.

But because no BC shipyard was able to meet the requirements for building the new, bigger ferry that is being constructed in Germany, they are on a public relations tear.

One of the reasons they couldn’t meet the timelines? They are so busy booked with work from other countries.

No wonder they are struggling to keep their messages straight.

(As seen today in 24 Hours Daily)

4 Comments:

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FAST FERRY SCANDAL

PacifiCat fleet
Main article: PacifiCat Series
The vessels built for BC Ferries were intended to improve ferry service between the mainland terminal of Horseshoe Bay (in West Vancouver) and the Vancouver Island terminal at Departure Bay (in Nanaimo).

The three vessels were built between 1995-2000 and were named as follows:

PacifiCat Explorer (1998)
PacifiCat Discovery (1999)
PacifiCat Voyager (2000)
Technically, PacifiCat Voyager was never part of the BC Ferries fleet, as it was christened but never commissioned; by the time this vessel was ready for deployment, the bottom had already fallen out of the Fast Ferry Program.

The vessels had a service speed of 37 knots (68 km/h) and a capacity for 250 car-equivalents and 1000 passengers.

Due to various blunders by the government, BC Ferries, design bureaus, and the shipyards, the cost of the program more than doubled from $210 million ($70 million/vessel) to almost $460 million ($150 million/vessel) and final delivery was almost 3 years behind schedule. A large part of the delay was due to the fact that the shipyards commissioned to construct the vessels had very little experience working with aluminum. Previously, construction of aluminum vessels in British Columbia had been limited to fishing boats and special-purpose vessels. The construction of three dual-hulled 122.5m catamarans represented a very large leap of faith by the New Democratic Party in British Columbia shipyards.

The ferries also had the following problems during their brief tenure:

High fuel consumption. The four 8,375 brake horsepower (6.2 MW) engines driving their waterjets required an inordinate amount of diesel fuel and had to be used at 90% power for cruise speed, making them prone to breakdown. This was largely due to BC Ferries' insistence on using diesel engines rather than the more efficient gas turbines that were originally planned.
Due to an unusually wet and windy winter, there was a higher than normal amount of flotsam in the waters along the route, some of which was sucked into impellers for the ferries' engines, causing breakdowns and sailing cancellations.
When operated at full speed, the Pacificat fleet created a wake which was reported to have damaged waterfront wharves and property in coastal areas near the two terminals. This required that the ferries reduce speed in certain areas and alter course in others, reducing their speed advantage.
International fast ferry standards do not permit passengers to remain on the car deck during sailings. This meant that all passengers had to move up to the passenger deck, an unwelcome change for some local residents who were used to sleeping the entire 95 minute voyage in their cars.
The air on vehicle decks became uncomfortably warm, either from the heat of the vessel engines or lack of air circulation. This made some people wary of bringing pets aboard the FastCats; however, the ferries had kennels with improved air circulation at the bow and stern of the vehicle decks.
There was little outside deck space for passengers. The existing ferries had large decks, and it was common for passengers to spend the entire sailing circling the decks of the ship or sunbathing on the lifejacket containers.
The ships had a more modern, European-style interior which was perceived by passengers as being cramped compared to the existing ferries.
Loading took longer than the older ferries due to balancing issues. This further negated the ships' speed advantage.
After a change in leadership, the new Premier of BC, Ujjal Dosanjh, placed the ferries up for sale. A subsequent election virtually eliminated the New Democratic Party from government, and Gordon Campbell of the BC Liberals auctioned off the PacifiCat fleet on March 24, 2003 for $19.4 million ($6.5 million/vessel) to the Washington Marine Group. Further controversy erupted when it was revealed that the same company had offered $60 million for the vessels prior to the auction.
http://en.wikipedia.org
/wiki/FastCat_Fiasco

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Bernie said...

I Bernie posted that one above.
Somehow it came up anonymous.
Let's see if this one works.

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger Bernie said...

THE EARTH IS NOT MOVING

FACTS:

THERE IS NO PROOF THAT THE EARTH ROTATES ON A "AXIS" DAILY AND ORBITS THE SUN ANNUALLY. NONE.
ALL CALCULATIONS FOR ECLIPSES, THE SPACE PROGRAM, NAVIGATION, SATELLITE MOVEMENTS--ANYTHING THAT DEMANDS PRECISION AND ACCURACY--ARE BASED ON A NON-MOVING EARTH. BOILED DOWN, HELIOCENTRIC MATH IS THE SAME AS GEOCENTRIC MATH. MATHEMATICS HAS BEEN INVENTED SPECIFICALLY TO UPHOLD COPERNICANISM. (EINSTEIN CALLED MATH AN "ART FORM" AND SO IT IS!)
NO EXPERIMENT HAS SHOWN THE EARTH TO BE MOVING (MUCH LESS AT 30 TIMES RIFLE BULLET SPEED IN SOLAR ORBIT AND 250 TIMES RBS AROUND A GALAXY!) ONE WOULD THINK SUCH SPEEDS WOULD FLAP ONE’S COLLAR A LITTLE EVEN IF THE "SCIENCE" ESTABLISHMENT SAYS NO....
MULTIPLE EXPERIMENTS HAVE SHOWN THE EARTH TO BE STATIONARY.
REVISIONIST HISTORY REVEALS THE ROLES THAT COPERNICUS, KEPLER, GALILEO, NEWTON, EINSTEIN, SAGAN ET AL HAVE PLAYED IN FOISTING THIS LIE ON MANKIND.
THE LOGIC AGAINST A MOVING EARTH IS OVERPOWERING.
WORLD-CLASS ASTRONOMER SIR FRED HOYLE SAID TAKE YOUR PICK BETWEEN THE TWO MODELS....
COPERNICANISM PAVED THE WAY FOR DARWINISM (WHICH SPAWNED MARXISM, FREUDIANISM, EINSTEINISM, SAGANISM)
STAR SPEEDS ARE NOT A PROBLEM WHEN THE THICKNESS OF THE UNIVERSE IS SEEN TO BE WHAT IT REALLY IS, THAT IS, LESS THAN 1/2 LIGHT DAY THICK. BEGIN HERE...
NASA’S SPACE PROGRAM IS LABELED "ORIGINS RESEARCH" AND COSTS TAXPAYERS MEGA-BUCKS. COMPUTERIZED TELESCOPES ARE PROGRAMMED TO SEND BACK "SYNTHESIZED IMAGES". THE "IMAGE WARPER" PERMITS "GEOMENTRIC TRANSFORMATIONS" WHILE "ORIGINS TECHNOLOGY... CONFIGURES THE MULTIPLE SMALL MIRRORS..." IN THESE TELESCOPES. TALK ABOUT A CON JOB!
THE BIBLE SAYS THE EARTH IS NOT MOVING AND CANNOT BE MOVED. WHAT’L IT BE FOLKS? FALSE SCIENCE AS THE SOURCE OF ABSOLUTE TRUTH...OR GOD’S WORD??
http://www.fixedearth.com
/the_bible/copernician.html

 
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