The purpose of this site is to document the past and present of British Columbia's ferries and passenger ships. It is also hoped that westcoastferries.ca would promote an appreciation for our maritime heritage and the important role that our ferries play on the coast. Although personal opinions on various matters may sometimes be apparent, this site does not take any particular political position nor are there any ties to management or unions at any of the province's ferry companies.
This project had its beginning in 1998 when profiles and some pictures of the ships were posted on a Geocities website. On June 14, 2002,
The Ferry Terminal
was launched with much more information on the individual ferries that operated in British Columbia's waters. Ship profiles were added over the following months and years. However, the bandwidth and storage limits with the free Geocities account have caused regular website outages and limited the amount of photos that could be displayed. In February 2006, www.westcoastferries.ca was established, but very little changed on the main page for 2 years. However, many ferry profiles have been updated in more detail, and in March 2008 these will be made accessible to everyone. This website is still a project under construction; as of March 11, 2008, only in-service BC Ferries vessels are profiled (and two "retired" vessels) as well as a few routes. More ships will be added as time permits.
While most of the material on this website is authored by myself (John Hammersmark), there are others who have kindly shared photographs of ships no longer in service and of ferries that I have few or no photos of; this includes Scott Arkell and Jim Thorne. It is my intention that in the future there will be more contributors (writing and photography) to help make this an even more informative site. If you have any original ferry-related material that could be incorporated into a webpage, feel free to
Sources of Information
A personal reason for working on this website is that it provides an opportunity to build on research skills learned in university. I have accessed many sources of information in compiling the information for this site. Most events listed in the ferry profiles are of commonly reported stories that appeared in multiple local newspapers. Where stories are exclusive to one source or where other sources are quoted, they are cited and a list of references at the bottom of the page gives the full description of the source.
The contents of this website are copyright of www.westcoastferries.ca. Unless otherwise stated and cited, all photographs and writings are my own and should be properly cited if reproduced or referenced. Please contact me if you would like to use any photography that appears on this site.
Recording of Events
In researching information for the ferry and ship profiles, it is always the bad stories that garner the most headlines. Since newspaper articles are the main sources for "ferry events" it is easy to find the bad news and a bit harder to find records of the good news stories. In every case possible, I have tried to record events where the ships and their crews were involved in rescues and providing marine assistance. It is my opinion that despite the accidents that have happened involving ferries and the bad news stories that appear in the media, ferries and their crews do an excellent job transporting millions of people safely and they make the coastline a much safer place by their presence.
For the purposes of this site, I am an amateur historian with an life-long interest in ferries, photography, geography, and local history. Although I am almost officially a landlubber, I did do a week of a high-school work experience program on board the
Queen of Capilano
and completed a three-month Efficient Deckhand course at the Pacific Marine Training Campus of the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1997. In 2004, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography (Major) and History (Minor). Presently, I make my home in Burnaby, British Columbia with my wife and two daughters and work as a shift supervisor for a local stone manufacturing company. My internet and webpage-design knowledge is quite basic, but I do also maintain the website for the
I am part of. If you have any questions or comments about this site or need to reach me, click on my name to send an e-mail (I usually check it daily):