Maritime Tales: A Company History Series | Episode 13

Words by Dave McMillan, former CEO of Vard Marine Inc. (1989-2020)

Queen of Capilano
MV “Queen of Capilano” (image courtesy of BC Ferries)

In September 1989, I began my career with Wartsila Marine Inc. where I stayed and thoroughly enjoyed the following 32 years.  Prior to my actual start date, I was tasked with drawing the lines plan for the new 85 AEQ Ferry which the company, in collaboration with SHM design in Victoria, had been awarded by the BC Ferry Corporation.  In consultation with the naval architect team in the office, I created the drawing using the traditional curve and batten set that we all used at the time and developed a suitable faired set of lines for the double-ended ferry.  The first challenge was figuring out a way to keep my kids from playing with the new “toys” daddy had brought home from work.  Plastic curves, long skinning plastic sticks and funny weights were all very intriguing to them both.

The second, and true challenge, was developing a fair set of lines and ensuring good flow into and around the Z-drive units to enable the vessel to maneuver effectively in the confined waters of certain harbours on the proposed route. These lines were then validated through extensive model tests to ensure the design would meet the speed and maneuvering requirements – which it did.

The truth, therefore, is that the lines plan for the double-ended BC ferries, MV ”Queen of Capilano” and “Queen of Cumberland”, were drawn on the kitchen table of the new naval architect for Wartsila Marine.  Hardly the most suitable location, but the proof is the end result which is the successful operation of the two vessels for over 30 years.