June 23, 1998
(Works, Services and Transportation)

Fogo Island/Change Islands ferry named after Captain Winsor

Works, Services and Transportation Minister Lloyd Matthews today took part in a reception to officially re-name the former "MV Prince Edward" after the late Captain Earl W. Winsor, a veteran seaman and longserving MHA in the legislature. The ferry was purchased last year for the Fogo Island and Change Islands service.

"The Captain Earl W. Winsor is a welcome addition to the province's fleet of marine vessels," said Minister Matthews. "Our commitment to improving marine services is apparent in the acquisition of this vessel, in the extensive refit and in all of the infrastructure improvements planned for docking facilities in our communities," he added.

"I am pleased today to name this fine vessel in honour of the late Captain Earl W. Winsor," said the minister. "Captain Winsor served the people of Newfoundland and Labrador in the House of Assembly for 23 years. He was elected to the legislature seven times before retiring in 1979. He worked tirelessly for the people he represented, first in Labrador and later for the district of Fogo. Captain Winsor was also an avid seaman and coastal skipper who served in the merchant navy during the Second World War. Throughout his distinguished and varied career he earned the respect of his peers for his sincerity, dedication and commitment. He remained active in the community through membership on various organizations until his death in 1989. It gives me great pleasure to honour Captain Winsor's longstanding commitment to the people of the province in this way."

The ferry was acquired last year from the federal Department of Transportation for a purchase price of $300,000, ending a lengthy search for a replacement marine vessel. This is a tremendous value to the people of the province says Minister Lloyd Matthews. "When government first began to search for a replacement vessel, we were looking at an expenditure of between $8 and $10 million. Until recently, we were unable to find a suitable vessel within that range. More than 70 vessels in Canada, the US and in Europe were evaluated, however, the best deal we were offered was in the range of $18 million. Purchasing the Captain Winsor for just $300,000 was an exceptional deal. If we wanted to build a comparable vessel it would cost between $23 and $25 million."

Since the province purchased the vessel last year, more than $2 million has been invested to prepare the ferry for the Fogo Island and Change Islands service. "We've also started work on the docking facilities so that the vessel can be accommodated. The Captain Winsor is a larger vessel, capable of carrying between 55 to 60 cars, as opposed to the capacity of 35 cars on the Beaumont Hamel. Once the work on the docking facilities is complete later this summer, the `Captain Earl W. Winsor' will begin passenger service on the Fogo Island/Change Islands run," added Minister Matthews.

Contact: Jill Sooley, (709) 729-3015.




Biographical Sketch - Captain Earl W. Winsor

  • Earl Winsor was born in July of 1918 in the community of Wesleyville.

  • He was a veteran seaman, a wireless operator and a coastal skipper. He earned a first class certificate of proficiency as a wireless operator before obtaining his master mariner's certificate. He spent some time as a wireless operator on the Labrador coast and on coastal steamers. He served as a wireless operator during the Second World War.

  • His political career spanned 23 years. He was elected seven times before retiring undefeated in 1979.

  • In 1956, Captain Winsor was elected to the House of Assembly, representing the old district of Labrador North. He was re-elected there in 1959, 1962 and again in 1966. In 1968 he was appointed Minister of Labrador Affairs and became Fisheries Minister in 1970.

  • In 1971 he moved to the district of Fogo. He continued to represent the district until his retirement.

  • In the community, Captain Winsor was a member of the Masonic Order, the Orange Association, the St. John's Board of Trade and the Royal Canadian Legion. He also served on various boards of the George Street United Church.



The MV Captain Earl W. Winsor

  • Formerly the MV Prince Edward, the ferry was built in 1972 for the Prince Edward Island ferry crossing. With the construction of the Confederation Bridge, the province of Prince Edward Island no longer required the marine vessel.

  • It was purchased from the federal government for $300,000 by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1997. The estimated market value of the vessel is $3.5 million, before refit.

  • The "Captain Earl W. Winsor" has a capacity to carry between 55-60 cars and 250-300 passengers.

  • Since acquiring the vessel last year, some $2 million has been allocated for refit to prepare the vessel for operating on the Fogo Island/Change Islands service. This includes engine, electrical and mechanical inspection, installation of ramps for easier loading and off loading of vehicles, in addition to refurbishing and enhancements of on board facilities. Ice strengthening the vessel was also a substantial part of the refit.

  • The finishing touches on the refit will be complete by the end of June. After that, the crew will begin a process of familiarization; conducting several trial runs in coastal waters before beginning passenger service.

  • In order to accommodate the larger vessel, renovations to docking facilities in Fogo Island, Change Islands and Farewell are required. This process is ongoing.

  • Once complete later this summer, the MV Captain Earl W. Winsor will begin operating the Fogo Island/Change Islands service. This will result in a more efficient service with one larger vessel accommodating passenger traffic during summer months. The Beaumont Hamel will then move to the Bell Island run.



General Particulars

Vessel: M/V 'Capt. Earl W. Winsor' (ex. Prince Edward)
Length Overall: 75.9 m (249' 0")
Length BP: 74.7 m (245' 0")
Beam: 16.3 m (53' 6")
Depth: 5.5 m (18' 0")
Draft Loaded: 3.8 m (12' 6")
Displacement Load: Approximately 2,100 tons
No. of Passengers: 250 - 300
No. of Autos: 60
Gross Tons: 1,772
Registered Tons: 927
Year Constructed: 1972
Builder: Ferguson Industries
Main Engine: Detroit Diesel; 2 x EMD x 1600 BHP each
Propulsion System: Kamewa Controllable Pitch; Twin Screw; Twin Rudder
Bow Thruster: One Electric 300 BHP

1998 06 23 12:05 p.m.


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