At the completion of its 1,000 km drive along the highway from Edmonton to Hay River and the 850 km sail down the Mackenzie River to Norman Wells, the Aurora Yukon was delivered to its owner by the builder Waiward Steel LP of Edmonton, AB. The Aurora Yukon will operate with an existing tug, to carry vehicles and passengers across the Mackenzie River at Norman Wells. The Aurora Yukon replaces an existing barge which was originally built in 1969.
- Length overall: 30 m
- Beam, molded, extreme: 9.9 m
- Depth, molded (hull): 1.6 m
- Maximum operating draft: 0.8 m (approx.)
- Maximum deadweight: 115 metric tons
The barge was designed by Robert Allan Ltd.
to Transport Canada regulations
and Lloyd’s Register (LR) Inland Waterways Ships Rules, and was fully delegated to LR under the Delegated Statutory Inspection Program. The barge can carry up to twelve passengers and two crew on Sheltered Waters voyages, with a maximum cargo load of 115 metric tons and a maximum single vehicle load of 50 metric tons. The vessel is classed with the following notation: LR ✠ AN I.W.W. Roll On-Roll Off Pontoon, Zone 1 (Mackenzie River Service).
The project stipulated very strict weight requirements to ensure the vessel will suit an existing transport trailer. The barge design was developed in a 3D environment from the proposal stage in order to closely monitor weights and visualize changes. Extensive FEA analysis of the structure was performed in order to optimize the design for minimum steel weight while ensuring the required service life during river operations.
The barge is outfitted with the required regulatory safety equipment as well as a hydraulically operating loading ramp at one end. Mooring bitts are fitted on main deck along with heavy duty haul out bitts on the barge sides to facilitate launch and retrieval for over-wintering on dry land.