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HarbourLynx was actually the third venture to attempt such a ferry service. The first service was operated using a passenger-only hovercraft in the 1980s. The second venture Kvaerner Fjellstrand Shipping (owned by Fjellstrand A.S.), operating as Royal Sealink Express, operated for only 11 months from 1992–1993, using the 296-passenger MV Orca Spirit - the same model of ship used by HarbourLynx.
The HarbourLynx 40m catamaran (previously called the Philippine Kvaerner Fjellstrand Singapore Flying Cat) was built by Fjellstrand A.S. in 1996; after being laid up in the Philippines for two years, the catamaran was shipped to a Victoria shipyard for refurbishment and upgraded to meet Transport Canada regulations while the engines were refurbished by Detroit Diesel in Kamloops.
After several cancelled sailings due to mechanical issues, on February 2, the Harbourlynx vessel was pulled from service due to major engine problems. On Feb. 20, 2006, it was announced that Harbourlynx had filed for bankruptcy. At midnight March 20, the deadline passed with no resolution.
Shutdown of service
As of October 23, 2006 the company's website indicated that the ferry service may be revived by December under new ownership. No word on who the new ownership is. This never came to fruition.
The vessel left the safe confines of Nanaimo's harbour on January 1, 2008. She was bound for Ireland, to serve the passage between Galway and the Aran Islands. She was purchased by Fjellstrand, a Norwegian ship building company who will retrofit the vessel and make her seaworthy once again.
- "Classic Fast Ferries Vol. 4 2003, page 15" (PDF). Classic Fast Ferries. Retrieved 2011-02-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "TRAVEL ADVISORY; Vancouver Adds Ferry Service July 19, 1992". New York Times. July 19, 1992. Retrieved 2011-02-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Classic Fast Ferries Vol. 4 2003, page 4" (PDF). Classic Fast Ferries. Retrieved 2011-02-08. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "HarbourLynx bankrupt". Nanaimo Daily News. February 20, 2006. Retrieved October 5, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)