Vard Marine Inc. is pleased to join Seaspan Shipyards, the Government of Canada, and the Canadian Coast Guard in celebrating the launch of the Sir John Franklin, the first of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSVs). This is the first large vessel designed and built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) and was launched on December 8th, 2017 at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards in North Vancouver. The vessel is now undergoing inclining tests after which it will then go to Ogden Point for completion and then final tests and trials before delivery. The other two vessels of the class are currently under construction at the shipyard, with the second ship on schedule to be launched in 2018.
“Vard Marine is pleased to have worked with Seaspan Shipyards on the design of these vessels. We were responsible for the structure, stability, mechanical systems, arrangements, and safe operability of the vessel and we also provided support to Seaspan’s engineering department in the development of standards and new processes used to construct the NSS vessels at the shipyard,” said Dave McMillan, president and CEO of Vard Marine. “Our partnership with Seaspan has spanned over four years and has enabled our company to more than double in size since we began our collaboration. Vard Marine now employees 77 people in the Vancouver area and thanks to the long-term and predictable nature of the NSS, we are able to undertake significant investments in our people, processes, and facilities to make our business more competitive for future opportunities in Canada, and around the world.”
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Sir John Franklin is the lead ship of the three Polar Class OFSVs and will be based out of Patricia Bay on Vancouver Island and will principally operate in the North Pacific, including the Arctic during the summer months. The remaining two OFSVs when delivered will be based in Eastern Canada and will service the Atlantic region.
“Seaspan Shipyards is proud to partner with Vard Marine on our work under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. As we work to build Canada’s next generation of non-combat vessels, Seaspan Shipyards is also helping to rebuild our domestic shipbuilding industry,” said Brian Carter, president and CEO of Seaspan Shipyards. “The launch of the first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel is a tremendous milestone that we are pleased to mark with our supplier community.”
The primary mission of the OFSVs is to provide research and data collection on fish and invertebrates in Canadian waters for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. They are specially designed to be a platform for oceanography, hydrography, and fisheries science and will play a vital role in monitoring and maintaining the health of Canada’s oceans. The OFSVs will also play a secondary role providing emergency response in Canadian waters.
The CCGS Sir John Franklin is 63m overall with an endurance of 31 days and a range of 8,500 nautical miles. It has accommodation for up to 36 persons, including a crew and 13 scientists. The 7,750kW rated diesel-electric power plant operates quietly and efficiently and, through the single propulsion motor, drives the vessel at a service speed of 12.5 knots. It is equipped with specialized scientific equipment, including a variety of fishing nets, a wet lab, a marine mammal observation station, and a drop keel that allows scientists to take a variety of samples and measurements. The vessel has been designed according to Ice Class PC7 requirements which allows it to safely operate in ice-infested waters.
The launch of the CCGS Sir John Franklin is a milestone achievement as it is the first large non-combat ship designed and built under the NSS. The NSS has sustained the growth of Canada’s domestic shipbuilding industry and provides valuable economic and employment opportunities across the country. Vard Marine will continue to work closely with Seaspan in designing and building other non-combat ships under the NSS including the projects currently underway; the 86m Canadian Coast Guard Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) and the two 174m Joint Support Ships (JSS).