In late November 2003, ABD Enterprises of North Vancouver, BC, delivered the 69 ft. (21 m) aluminum crewboat/passenger ferry Tsimshian Storm to North-Co-Corp. Ferry Services Ltd. of Prince Rupert, BC. The vessel was designed by Robert Allan Ltd
., Naval Architects of Vancouver, BC to serve the Northern BC Coast First Nations communities of Kitkatla, Metlakatla, and Hartley bay, out of a base at Prince Rupert.
Of all aluminum construction, the Tsimshian Storm is configured to carry 45 persons with generous seating space, and two tons of deck cargo. It is operated on coastal voyages with a crew of two persons. The aft deck and main cabin are at the same level to enable use of wheelchairs, and to serve for MedEvac purposes as required. The seating arrangements are designed so that a number of seats can be folded flat to facilitate stretchers or similar. A full width transom extension provides protection to the rudders, and also serves as a low level boarding platform onto low freeboard docks and floats as required. The General Arrangement illustrates the straightforward configuration of the vessel, with the partially elevated wheelhouse forward providing excellent visibility both forward and aft, and a sheltered deck area aft to assist passengers and crew to cope with the frequent heavy rain in the area of operation. There are full washroom facilities aboard, including a total sewage containment capability for protection of coastal waters. Propulsion of the ferry is by a triple-screw arrangement. The main engines are Yanmar 6CX-GTE2, each rated 440 bhp at 2,800 rpm, driving fixed pitch, 30 in. diameter propellers on conventional shaft lines, through ZF model 305A reverse reduction gearboxes, 2.423:1 ratio. This system provides the ferry with a comfortable service speed of 20 knots, as well as the ability to operate fuel efficiently at lower speeds on one or two engines when conditions warrant.