@2000 NTDMM Sketch Cary Baker for
  • Coastal Freighter converted to Car Ferry
  • 70ffw 24m
  • 144ft Lengths
  • Wolfe Island, St. Lawrence River
  • N44 13 5580 W76 24 9860

Chronological History #

  • 1945 Laid down as Hull 135
  • 1946 Converted into a car ferry
  • 1946 Minister of Highways
  • 1946 Nov Starts Ferry Service
  • 1947 High Water makes loading difficult
  • 1947 Fire onboard while docked
  • 1950 Reported Missing as she waits out the storm near Quebec Head, St Lawrence River
  • 1951 High Water makes loading difficult
  • 1955 Stuck in Ice, Passengers transferred to SALVAGE PRINCE Sled goes through Ice all Saved
  • 1960 Residents start sounding alarms for a new Ferry
  • 1973 Minister of Transportation & Communications
  • 1975 Aids on Bubbler System
  • 1976 Back up for New Wolfe Islander 3
  • 1980 Minister of Transportation & Communications for the Province of Ontario
  • 1984 Marine Museum of the Great Lakes
  • 1985 Comet Foundation Scuttled and Abandoned in place

Brief History #

The Wolfe Islander II began originally as the “Ottawa-Maybrook”. Built-in 1946, it was originally intended as a gift to China, but due to the communist takeover and the subsequent boycott of the communist government, it was converted to a side-loading passenger & car ferry and relocated to Kingston, Ontario. Here, it served the residents of Wolfe Island for many years, before it was intentionally scuttled in 1985. It was replaced from service in 1975 by the Wolfe Islander III, which was more maneuverable, faster, and had a brand new bubbling system that provided year-round service. The Wolfe Islander II was kept around for a while as a backup but was eventually scuttled.

Photo Gallery 2022 Matthew Charlesworth CC #

Scanner Letters to the Editor #

In 1975, the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company built a new ferry, WOLFE ISLANDER III (she really should be called WOLFE ISLANDER IV for she is the fourth ferry to bear the name) for the Kingston – Wolfe Island service operated by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications. Since the advent of this modern ferry, her predecessor, WOLFE ISLANDER (III)-yes we know it’s confusing, but blame the government – has been held as a spare boat for the route. Now the older boat has been acquired for one dollar by the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston, which will place her on the old Kingston drydock and open her for public display, complete with onboard exhibits. WOLFE ISLANDER (III) (C.157269), 144.3 x 43.1 x 8.0, 404 Gross, 206 Net, was built in 1945-46 at Collingwood (Hull 135) as the coastal freighter (a) OTTAWA MAYBROOK (46), but she was almost immediately converted to a ferry for the Wolfe Island run. We are pleased that she will be preserved, even though her “blistered” hull makes her something less than a handsome vessel.

Photo Gallery 2010 Tom Rutledge CC #

C Patrick Labadie File #

  • WOLFE ISLANDER (1946, Ferry) Official Number:157269
  • Built at: Collingwood ON
  • Vessel Type: FerryNote: Passenger / Auto Hull Materials: Steel
  • Hull Number:135 Builder Name: Collingwood Shipbuilding Co
  • Original Owner:Minister of Highways
  • Propulsion: Screw
  • Length: 144.25′ Beam: 43′ Depth: 8′ Tonnage (gross): 404
  • FINAL DISPOSITION Date:21 Sep 1985 How: Scuttled

Photo Gallery Tom Rutledge/Adam Rushton 2000 #

From the log book of Spike #

Dropping down the line and reaching the bow davit, it is only another dozen feet to the open door of the wheelhouse. Just abaft the wheelhouse is a set of steel stairs that lead to benches lining the curved bulkhead and large square windows provide exit points with large doorways also convenient. The depth is 60 feet (18.5m) and the air pocket above divers’ heads is exhaust from previous diver visits and is not for breathing 

Exiting the salon on the port side, divers follow the stairs to the main deck where vehicles were parked and recently a motorcycle was placed to demonstrate past cargo 

A nearby doorway leads into the depths of the engine room and only the diver with experience, skills and training should proceed here. Through catwalks and piping, one may proceed to the engine mounts at 75 feet (23m) depth and you encounter the “elevator” shaft leading to the top deck. Near the port rail you will find the portholes (of which several were liberated by some divers that need them more than others) with logos and names of support organizations. Just around the corner is the ship’s name and registry port. 

Historical Photo Gallery #

WOLFE ISLANDER sinking 21 Sep 1985 – @Max Pater All Rights Reserved #

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