Saturday, August 2, 2014

Rare success for CCG surplus

The Canadian government's abysmal record in selling off its older ships (which I have ranted about before) rarely results in any useful occupation for the vessels. Left to moulder, often for several years, before they are listed for sale, they are then subjected to several "re-offerings" at lower and lower reserved prices until someone finally bites.

CGS Louisbourg soon after delivery to the Department of Fisheries in 1977, tied up at Queen's Wharf in Halifax.

CCGS Louisborg is such an example, now being offered for the fifth time by my account. Built in 1977 it was removed from service in October 2012. Sometime in 2013 it was turned over for sale. (This is fairly rapid by usual standards). In December 2013 it was first listed for sale with a minimum price of $385,000. By this time everyone knows that the government will eventually settle for far less, so it was that the minimum bid was reduced at successive sales to $300,000, $285,000, $250,000 and now with no minimum (closing August 11.) How low can you go?

By the time the ships are sold they are usually good for scrap only, but there is some hope for Louisbourg, which has an aluminum hull.

A rare success story is the former CCGS Sir Humphrey Gilbert. A fine icebreaker, built by Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon in 1959, it received a major refit in 1984-85 when it had a new bow built at Halifax Shipyard. Removed from service in 2001 the ship was renamed 2001-06 for sale. It was briefly renamed Gilbert I for new owners, but in July 2002 it became Polar Prince and became Canada's only commercial icebreaker for hire. (There are other ships classed as Icebreakers, but they are cargo carriers)
Although it has had a succession of owners since, it is still in service. It has spent this past winter in Lunenburg, but now appears to be readying for some sort of mission.

Polar Prince at the railway pier in Lunenburg this morning. Note the crewman atop the helicopter hangar.

Here are some informative links:


1 comment:

  1. It's true that the track record for sale of ships through Crown Assets is often disappointing. Nonetheless, here are a few successful sale/conversions from the most recent decades:
    CCGS Beauport
    CCGS Narwhal
    CCGS John Cabot
    CCGS Parizeau
    CCGS James Harrison
    CCGS Mikula
    CCGS Chebucto
    CCGS Nokomis
    CCGS Ville Marie
    CCGS Verendrye
    CCGS Waban Aki
    CCGS Aulneau
    CCGS Avocet
    CCGS George E Darby, Grenfell and Jackman
    CCGS Simon Fraser (conversion stalled)
    CCGS Hood and Maxwell
    CCGS Alert
    CCGS James Sinclair
    CCGS Skidegate
    CCGS Wm J Stewart
    CCGS Wilfred Templeman
    CCGS Rally
    CCGS Tsekoa II (well, almost!)
    CCGS Concretia
    and a dozen more of the smaller Fisheries Patrol Vessels and similar ships.