Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cape Ballard - one more for the torch

 1. Cape Brier was the first in a series of three sister trawlers built at Halifax Shipyards.

The Halifax built trawler Cape Ballard arrived in Grenaa, Denmark on April 17 to be broken up by Fornaes. As reported earlier, it had been towing the Cape Beaver which sank off Iceland en route from Newfoundland.

Cape Ballard was the middle of three stern trawlers built by Halifax Shipyards (then under the ownership of Halifax Industries Ltd). Although subsidizied to the tune of $6 million, the yard lost money on the three, which took twice as long to deliver as the sister boats built in Japan (of which Cape Beaver was one.)

2. Cape Brier during final fitting out, at the Machine Ship Wharf, with CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent in the graving behind.

First of the series was Cape Brier (hull number 69). The keel was laid on May 7, 1980, it was launched on December 20, 1980 and delivered in July 1981. Owners, National Sea Products Ltd, sold the trawler to Russian interests in1999 and it was renamed Muran Pride for a short time then Lydia L in 2000.
In 2004 it raised the flag of Georgia and became S. Ocean Skipper. Operated by the Sirichai Fishing Group of Thailand, it was involved in overseas joint ventures, far from Thailand, but it is no longer shown on the company's web site, nor listed among active ships.

3. Cape Ballard shows off its fine lines at pier 6. Most of the pier structure in the background was  demolished this month as part of the shipyard's modernization project.

Cape Ballard was the second boat of the series (hull number 70). It was also laid down May 7, 1980, but was not launched until June 1, 1981 and was delivered in November 1981. Following a shake up in the fish business and collapse of the cod fishery, its ownership changed several times, ending up with Ocean Choice before its recent sale.
For some interesting photos of the ship see:

4. Cape Forchu on one of its rare visits to Halifax.

Third and last of the series was Cape Forchu (hull number 71) Launched on March 10, 1982, it was delivered in June of the same year. It had a very short working life however. On May 3, 1989, while 18 miles south of Cape Ray, NL, it collided with the 15,667 gross tons Polish bulk carrier Ziemia Opolska. Cape Forchu was badly damaged, and soon sank. The crew were all saved.

These three were amongst the last big trawlers built in Canada. When new ships were needed they were bought overseas, often second hand.With the collapse of the cod fishery in particular, and the demise of much of Canada's shipbuilding industry, we are unlikely to see many more Canadian built trawlers.

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