An Ocean Pacific employe begins work on the RCMP vessel Lindsay (above) while on the Navy tug Tillicum (below) company staff and vessel crew pose for a picture before the boat sets off for Victoria.

Local shipyard doing a hull of a job

A Campbell River ship yard has been making a name for itself

A Campbell River ship yard has been making a name for itself, beating out much larger marine centres for working contracts and providing a boost to the local economy in the process.

Ocean Pacific, which specializes in marine repair, on Monday morning sent off a Navy tug it performed a complete refit on and just two hours later welcomed another large project – an RCMP vessel.

It seems senior levels of government are confident in Ocean Pacific which strives to live up to its policy of “top quality products and services delivered on.”

Bruce Kempling, president of Ocean Pacific, said he’s not surprised.

“I think along with the rest of the town, we’ve got the experience,” he said. “Campbell River’s got a good, experienced well-equipped workforce.”

Kempling said the local company has to bid on every government contract it lands and is up against companies all along the coast, including in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo.

On Monday, crews at Ocean Pacific saw the Navy tug Tillicum off.

The vessel, which works in the Esquimalt Harbour, arrived in Campbell River in late August for a complete refit which involves removing and repairing the craft’s operating system, as well as hull work, and sandblasting and painting the entire vessel.

Many of those jobs are sub-contracted out by Ocean Pacific to local businesses which also stand to benefit each time Ocean Pacific successfully bids on a contract.

The following companies all played a role in the Tillicum refit: Cowichan Hydraulics, Cullen Diesel, the Fire Shop, Phoenix Sand Blasting, North Island Machine Works, Discovery Crane, Aztec Freight, Walco Industries, Jarl Towing and Al Grant Signs.

And those are just the businesses that worked on site.

There are other local companies that Ocean Pacific buys materials and supplies from as well.

“Aside from the contract is the sub-contracting spinoffs going into the community for supplies,” Kempling said. “There’s a full range of equipment required for a vessel which spins off to the local economy.”

And it doesn’t look like that will stop anytime soon.

Just as the Tillicum pulled away from the Ocean Pacific dock, in came Lindsay, an RCMP vessel, which will be in the ship yard until mid-February undergoing a refit.

Crews at Ocean Pacific are also keeping busy with the Black Duck, a 19 Wing Comox training vessel that ran up on the rocks near Powell River Dec. 3 during a scuba diving exercise (see page A7). While at Ocean Pacific, the vessel will be undergoing a complete damage assessment.

From June to mid-October the company also completed a refit on the Egrit, a government vessel going to work in the torpedo range at Nanoose military bay.