Fintry Queen
Historical Information

History of the Fintry Queen
 
Today the Fintry Queen lies tethered to large pilings, waiting for the next chapter in her life story. For more than 60 years she has been a part of Kelowna's downtown waterfront, carrying more than 25,000 passengers every summer. Her old moorage slip has now made way for the new Kelowna Marina Pier, which has new short term daily docking for Okanagan Lake boaters.
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Originally names the "M.V. Lequime", the Fintry Queen was built in Vancouver in 1947 and shipped by rail in sections to Kelowna, where she became one of three car and passenger ferries crossing Okanagan Lake. The smallest ferry, the Pendozi, is now the Clubhouse for the WestBank Yacht Club. The third ferry the "Lloyd Jones" was taken back to the coast by BC Ferries where she continued to work for many years before being sold in 1998 to the Dominican Republic.

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The Aberdeen was the first CPR ship in the Okanagan Valley. She carried passengers and cargo daily from Okanagan Landing (Vernon, BC) to Penticton from 1893 to 1919.

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The Fintry Queen was designed as an all-season ferry with an extra thick hull for breaking through the winter ice and a unique hull shape that enables her to get close to shore to use the boarding ramp.

The transformation from "Lequime" to "Fintry Queen" was the creation of Arthur Bailey in the 1960's, to transport travellers and tourists to his new real estate development at Fintry. "Art was a dreamer" said his wife Ingrid, "and a few years ahead of his time." Ingrid remembers housing and feeding more than 30 shipwrights for the two years it took to convert the vessel on the beach at Fintry to reflect the sternwheeler tradition on Okanagan Lake. The original Fintry Queen had no housing. Passengers were issued with raincoats for the first few years.

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Fintry Queen - 08Here is a poster from the 1970's when the Fintry Queen would make weekend runs to Fintry. Cruise, Dinner and Dance for $4.50

In the eighties there were cruises to Peachland and Penticton.

Today she can carry 335 passengers and crew. On the Main Deck there is a indoor forward lounge that seats 70 and a rear main dining room with dance floor for another 120 guests. On the Upper Deck there is a covered outdoor area, sun deck, barbeque, snack bar and games room.

Two fuel efficient turbo diesel engines power the ship at an average cruising speed of 6-8 knots.

Between 2004 and 2008, an estimated $800,000 was spent on improvements. All the wiring, switches, electrical panels and fire control systems were replaced. The generators and main engines were rebuilt along with new stainless steel shafts and bronze propellers.

The Wheelhouse has not changed since the ship was built in 1948
The Fintry Queen has carried more than 500,000 travelers over 70 years, creating memories that last a lifetime.

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The lake boats were the transportation link and lifeline for the many small communities, agricultural and mining settlements located along the shoreline.
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