Not many large boats or small ships visit Cobourg so the visit of Dartmouth III was newsworthy. Late on November 11, the ferry dropped in for an overnight stay in Cobourg on its trek from Nova Scotia to Toronto. Built in 1979, she was a ferry from Halifax to Dartmouth until recently but was then bought for $100,000 then refitted for $500,000 and will be put in service by the Toronto Island Transit Service to increase capacity on the Toronto-Centre Island run. With a capacity for up to 390 people, the ship is relatively large with a gross tonnage of 256 and a draft of 6 feet. It’s 79 feet long with a 32 foot beam (width) and a top speed of about 8 knots (about 15 km/h).
The trip to Toronto was quite an adventure since there’s no keel so she doesn’t handle waves and heavy water – this meant that her arrival in Cobourg was delayed because of the forecast of strong winds. There is no sleeping accommodation so they had to stop overnight along the way – the stop before Cobourg was Kingston and before that Brockville. Also there is no automatic pilot so she needed to be hand steered the whole way from Halifax.
The $500,000 refit by Canadian Maritime Engineering shipyard in Sambro NS involved a complete rebuild of the twin engines and generators, a new paint job and recertification – although the name will remain Dartmouth III until she enters service in Toronto.
The ship arrived after dark on the 11th (no moon visible) and left before dawn on the 12th so no photos inside the harbour were possible. I did see it (in the dark) docked at the East pier. Below is a recent photo taken on Nov 5, 2017 by Jacques Gauthier as she passed Trois Rivières.