Nova Scotia

New Yarmouth ferry flagged for deadweight issues

Proponents of the new ferry service for Yarmouth are standing by the new boat despite previous concerns about the ship.

Nova Scotia government says safety issues have been addressed

Proponents of the new ferry service in Yarmouth are standing by the ship, despite the fact that another company refused to buy the vessel because they worried about how much it can safely carry.

The Nova Scotia government and others say they're confident those concerns have been addressed.

The Nova Star will eventually travel between Portland, Maine and Yarmouth, but it was initially built to travel the English Channel for a French company called LD Lines.

After the ship began sea trials, the company refused to buy it because of an issue with the vessel's deadweight.

Deadweight is the amount of weight including cargo, fuel, and passengers a ship can carry without riding dangerously low in the water.

In a two-line e-mail to CBC News, the provincial government said it was aware of the issue and it was addressed during the evaluation process.

Keith Condon, a Yarmouth businessman who was part of that process, said he's not worried because the boat will be a cruise ferry once it gets here.

“There isn't as much cargo," he said. "In fact, a minimal amount of cargo compared to for example running 85 per cent roll-on cargo as opposed to maybe 10 per cent. So the use changes, the requirement changes, and the deadweight requirements for Yarmouth to Portland is a lot less.”

CBC was unable to get a comment from STM Quest, the consortium that won the bid to provide the service.

Condon said everything he's seen suggests the ferry is still on schedule to begin operating next spring.


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