CFAV Quest

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Class overview
Name: Quest class
Builders: Burrard Shipbuilding & Drydock Ltd., Vancouver
Operators:  Royal Canadian Navy
Built: 1967–1969
In commission: 1969–2016
Completed: 1
Retired: 1
Name: Quest
Builder: Burrard Shipbuilding & Drydock Ltd., Vancouver
Laid down: 1967
Launched: 9 July 1968
Commissioned: 21 August 1969
Decommissioned: 2016
Homeport: CFB Halifax
Identification: AGOR 172
Status: Awaiting disposal
General characteristics
Type: Research vessel
Displacement: 2,130 long tons (2,160 t)
Length: 71.6 m (235 ft)
Beam: 12.8 m (42 ft)
Draught: 4.6 m (15 ft)
  • Diesel electric, twin shaft, twin rudder
  • 2 × 10 cylinder Fairbanks-Morse 38D8 diesels driving 2 GE electric motors
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range: 10,000 nmi (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Endurance: 35 days
Complement: 55
Aviation facilities: Small helicopter deck – converted to rear crane platform

CFAV Quest was an oceanographic research/acoustic vessel used by the Royal Canadian Navy and Defence Research and Development Canada. It was the only ship with this capability in the fleet. Based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Quest's crew were civilian members of the Canadian Department of National Defence and the ship was classified as an auxiliary vessel (CFAV). In 2016 it was announced the ship was to be divested and ultimately decommissioned by the end of the year.[1]


The Quest-class oceanographic research vessel was designed for oceanographic and hydrographic research for the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship displaced 2,130 long tons (2,160 t) and was 71.6 m (235 ft) long overall with a beam of 12.8 m (42 ft) and a draught of 4.6 m (15 ft).[2] The ship was fitted with a small helicopter platform capable of handling light helicopters[2] but this was later removed and converted to a rear crane platform.

Quest was a diesel electric, twin shaft, twin rudder ship. The vessel was equipped with two 10-cylinder Fairbanks-Morse 38D8 diesel engines driving two GE electric motors. This gave the ship a speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). The vessel had an effective range of 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) for 35 days.[2]

Operational history[edit]

Construction of Quest began in 1967 by Burrard Shipbuilding & Drydock Ltd. at Vancouver, the ship was launched on 9 July 1968.[2] After entering service on 21 August 1969 with the hull number AGOR 172, Quest was deployed on the East Coast. The vessel was used primarily for oceanographic and hydrographic research in the north Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.[2][3] The ship was able to operate in the heavy ice of the Arctic Ocean when accompanied by an icebreaker.[2]

A mid-life update was performed in 1997–1999. This included updated communications and navigational hardware along with improved noise insulation.[4] As of February 2014, Quest was docked indefinitely at Halifax following budget cutbacks to the Royal Canadian Navy.[3] On 2 September 2016 the Royal Canadian Navy announced through an email release that the ship would be decommissioned and "divested".[1] The ship was put up for sale in March 2017.[5] The vessel was sold to Marine Recycling Corporation of Port Colborne, Ontario for scrap along with HMCS Preserver for a total of $12.6 million.[6] The vessel was broken up at the Marine Recycling Corporation's facility in Sydney, Nova Scotia.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pugliese, David (2 September 2016). "Say Goodbye to Canadian Forces Auxiliary Vessel Quest – military quietly orders ship to be divested". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Moore, John, ed. (1981). Jane's Fighting Ships 1981–1982. London: Jane's Publishing. p. 82. ISBN 0-531-03977-3. 
  3. ^ a b "CFAV Quest, navy's only research vessel, docked indefinitely". CBC News. 1 February 2014. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018. 
  4. ^ Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2004). Jane's Fighting Ships 2004–2005 (107 ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: Jane's Information Group Inc. p. 89. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1. 
  5. ^ Pugliese, David (20 March 2017). "Contractor wanted to dismantle former HMCS Preserver, CFAV Quest". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018. 
  6. ^ Pugliese, David (16 June 2017). "Ontario company wins contract to dispose of former HMCS Preserver and CFAV Quest". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  7. ^ King, Nancy (4 August 2017). "Sydport to host shipbreaking of former navy ships". Retrieved 13 August 2017. 
  8. ^ Shannon, Chris (29 May 2018). "Dismantling of former naval ships underway". Cape Breton Post. Retrieved 20 June 2018. 

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