DND Submarine Fender Barges

Ocean Pacific brought together a multi-disciplinary team to build two 120’ submarine barges for the Canadian Navy.

  • two 110+ ton barges
  • 120 feet long, 19 feet wide
  • overall draught of 18 feet
  • designed for Victoria class submarines

In December of 2014 the Department of National Defence released a solicitation for the fabrication of two Victoria Class Submarine Fender Barges. Ocean Pacific built the first of these Barges back in 2012 and was excited to prepare a bid for this new build. Several shipyards on the coast bid on the project and Ocean Pacific was awarded the contract in early 2015.

These two steel barges would be used as docking stations for Victoria Class submarines in the Esquimalt Harbour in Victoria, BC. The design for the barges is unique. The four deep keels, or fender panels, extend into the water at each side of the barges. The submarines sit low in the water and will rest against the fender panels when tied to the barge. The barges were each 120 feet long, 19 feet wide with an overall draught of 18 feet. Each barge weighed in excess of 110 tons.

The barges were assembled in stages utilising various subcontractors as well as a large team of Ocean Pacific welding personnel. Ocean Pacific’s welding team fabricated the barges in modules. Once the modules were complete they were welded together. The rake ends for each module were built off site and incorporated into each module by Ocean Pacific. Once the barges were assembled the HSS Legs were attached to the bottom of the barges in preparation for the addition of the fender panels once the barges were in the water.

Quality assurance at every step.

At various stages during the assembly process the modules, legs and fender panels were painted with many coats of high quality marine coatings. International Paint oversaw the painting process to ensure application was being completed at the correct intervals and temperatures. Most of the paint was applied by Phoenix Enterprises. Our Navy appointed Quality Assurance Representative worked closely with the painting team to laboriously test paint thickness upon every application. This would ensure the quality and longevity of the final product.

The completed Barges were launched in November 2015. The Ocean Pacific Marine Travelift, coupled with a barge and crane from Sea Roamer Marine Services, lifted the barges in tandem into the water here at Ocean Pacific. Once launched the fender panels were attached by a team of divers from Sea Way Diving. The barges were then towed from Campbell River to Esquimalt by Jarl Towing. The barges were received in the Esquimalt harbour by the Queen’s Harbour Master.

Ocean Pacific is proud to successfully complete a project of this scope and could not have done it without the support of many local contractors and suppliers and of course the amazing Ocean Pacific Team.

Completed barges in use at CFB Esquimalt
Completed barges in use at CFB Esquimalt
Submarine Fender Barges in progress
Submarine Fender Barges in progress
Submarine Fender Barges in progress
Completed Submarine Fender Barges

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