Every five years, commercial vessels in Canada must undergo a series of Transport Canada inspections that require vessels to come out of the water. On October 17 at 3:00 am, the Captain Matthew Flinders set sail from Toronto for the Heddle Marine facility in Hamilton . As an ocean going ship, the Flinders is quite sturdy but at a maximum speed of 8 to 10 knots—the fastest she can sail–the journey took 3- 4 hours. Among the thousands of Flinders’ notable voyages, it boasts a colorful stint as a casino boat off of West Palm Beach Florida and cruises to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Named after the Australian explorer who was the first to circumnavigate and identify the Australian continent, the Captain Matthew Flinders was built in 1986 in Port Adelaide. The ship joined Mariposa Cruises’ fleet in 1989, making its way from Australia to Toronto, a journey that took four months!
This year, the Flinders spent close to 4 weeks in dry dock undergoing a series of ultrasonic tests.
The propeller shaft and rudder were inspected for any weak spots or cracks. The anchor was dropped, and the anchor chains measured and re-painted, and all of the valves were checked too.
Submerged in water for the past five years, the steel hull, which frames bottom of the boat, was inspected with ultrasonic tests for thickness, wear and rust.
The Captain Matthew Flinders passed all of the tests, with only six of its thirty valves needing replacement. Having the ship in dry-dock also afforded us the opportunity to do some work on the vessel. After the inspections were completed, the Flinders’ exterior got a brand new paint job, from top to bottom, including the crest which adorns her bow.
Our crew drove the Flinders back to Toronto in ship-shape on November 17, just in time for holiday cruising season. Cruising on the Flinders is a special experience. With two interior decks, a massive split-level outer deck, stairwells and long promenade decks running from bow to stern, you get a true sense of being on a classic ocean liner. You can still experience a voyage on Captain Matthew Flinders this season on one of our Winter Dinner Cruises, or aboard our New Year’s Eve Cocktail Cruise.
See more of the Captain Matthew Flinders! Take a virtual tour here.