Oak Bay Marine Group

Oak Bay Marine Group

Oak Bay Marine Group MV Canadian Princess: Except from a CHEK TV Broadcast Mary Griffinon September 30, 2016


It was an emotional day in Ucluelet on Friday as one of the community’s most treasured landmarks sailed out of harbour for the very last time. Hundreds of people lined the shore to give a farewell fit for royalty to the Canadian Princess. After 30 years docked in the town, she was towed out to sea to be torn apart.


Former employee Harvey Gudbranson said it was difficult to see her go. “Its kind of a sad feeling, but I guess all good things must come to an end,” he said. “Its been a landmark in Ucluelet, when people come to town you say well go past the Princess.”


The historic fixture that’s credited with building the community’s now thriving tourism trade is being towed to a Lower Mainland scrap yard, to be salvaged for parts. Vicky Lundgren reflected on the past as she watched the Princess sail off. “You know you look at her going by and there’s so many memories for the whole town,” she said. “It really was the focal point of our tourist activity in the 80’s so it was the hub of visitors and action.”


The ship also played a pivotal role in Keith Nagawa’s life “I was the skipper for 34 years, I met my wife there,” he said. Friday was the result of Oak Bay Marine Group’s selling several of its fishing lodges on Vancouver Island earlier this year. The new owners didn’t see the aging boat in their company’s future. Her deteriorating condition made salvage all it could be used for. “Unfortunately she’s a 1932 vessel and finished her useful life.” The Canadian Princess sailed off having transformed Ucluelet and left many good memories in her wake.


The Canadian Princess steamship on the Waterfront Trail was previously named the William J. Stewart during her 43 years of service as a hydrographic survey ship (1932-1975).


She was considered one of the finest coastal ships in Canada and made an important contribution to the safety of mariners. She was nearly sunk in 1944 after a collision with Ripple Rock near Campbell River but she was beached and repaired.


In 1979 she was refurbished by the Oak Bay Marine Group (OBMG) and it was towed there as a floating resort, restaurant and lounge.


Company Name:
Oak Bay Marine Group

Project Name:
MV Canadian Princess Hydrographic Survey Ship

Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CANADA

3GA Contact:
Iain Miller

Customer Friend to Oak Bay Marine Group onsite and Consultant

Retail Service Commercial Sector

Tourism and Hospitality Industry

3GA Marine Ltd. started this engagement consulting for Oak Bay Marine Group investigating the Risk and Safety of this 100 plus year vessel. We then moved on to providing Naval Architectural services as there were few documents available to the owner. We conducted  towing assessment to determine if the vessel could be safely moved to a demolition site. We also conducted stability assessments to determine if the vessel could be towed. A lot of our work on this assignment focused on surveying and inspection of a vessel while afloat which is unusual.

Length of Assignment:
18 months

Limited to non existent vessel information, determining how to secure dimensions of a vessel while floating, riveted construction, high environmental risk

Final Outcome:
Safely relocated to demolition site.

September 30th 2016


September 30, 2016