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HMCS Preserver will join HMCS Protecteur as the longest naval ships ever built in Canada  

October 27, 2023 – North Vancouver, BC – Today, Seaspan Shipyards (Seaspan) and its more than 3,900 employees were proud to host a ceremonial keel laying event for the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) future HMCS Preserver.

The keel laying is a significant milestone in a ship’s construction, during which a coin is placed near the keel, where it will remain for the duration of the ship’s life. The coin is said to bring good luck to the builders and all those who sail on the vessel. For today’s occasion, a commemorative coin from the Royal Canadian Mint was selected, designed by Esquimalt Nation artist Darlene Gait. The coins were placed in the vessel today by Tyler Robertson, a third-generation pipefitter and 2023 Seaspan apprenticeship graduate supported by the Squamish Nation Training and Trades Centre, and Ordinary Cadet Curtis MacBain, a Sea Cadet from 354 RCSCC Invincible; their joint participation in this milestone event represents the next generation and future of both Seaspan Shipyards and the Royal Canadian Navy.

“Today, Seaspan Shipyards has taken another critical step towards providing the Royal Canadian Navy with the ships they need to go into harm’s way and ensure Canada’s security and sovereignty in an increasingly unstable geopolitical environment,” said John McCarthy, CEO, Seaspan Shipyards. “Through investments in technology, process improvements, and skills upgrading, and by rigorously applying lessons learned from earlier ships we have built, Seaspan is on course to deliver ships faster and for lower cost to Canada.”

The future HMCS Preserver is the second of two Joint Support Ships being built by Seaspan as part of the NSS. Through incorporating lessons learned on the design and construction of JSS1, the second Joint Support Ship is tracking ahead of schedule and efficiencies are seen throughout the build process – from advancements in design and supply chain streamlining, to pre-assembly outfitting in electrical cable installation.

The HMCS Preserver joins HMCS Protecteur as the longest naval ships built in Canada. HMCS Preserver is scheduled for delivery in 2027.

“Today’s keel laying ceremony marks the significant progress being made for the Royal Canadian Navy’s Protecteur-class,” said Rear-Admiral Steve Waddell, Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy. “Through Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy we continue to grow the naval fleet and bolster its capabilities. Bravo Zulu to those who have contributed to all of the work on this tremendous project.”

In addition to designing, building and delivering state-of-the-art ships, Seaspan is also delivering significant socio-economic benefits to Canada as a result of the NSS. Seaspan has helped to rebuild a marine industrial sector, creating thousands of jobs, leveraging a supply chain of more than 700 Canadian suppliers from coast-to-coast, and generating more than $5.7 billion in GDP contributions to Canada since 2011.

“Today marks an important milestone in the work Seaspan has been doing under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This facility plays a vital role in Canada’s shipbuilding industry, in supporting the Royal Canadian Navy and Coast Guard and is an integral part of both North Vancouver’s maritime heritage and our present local economy,” said The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver. “The construction of two Joint Support Ships will create good jobs and help increase the endurance and capability of the Royal Canadian Navy. ”

HMCS Preserver is the fifth ship to be designed and built by Seaspan under the NSS. In 2020, Seaspan completed delivery of CCGS John Cabot, the third and final Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel built for the Canadian Coast Guard and marked the first full class of vessel to be delivered under the NSS. Construction is also underway on the Canadian Coast Guard’s Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel, and progress is being made to prepare for the start of construction on Canada’s new heavy Polar Icebreaker, the first to be constructed in Canada in 60 years.


National Shipbuilding Strategy
Seaspan Shipyards

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Seaspan Shipyards, a division of Seaspan ULC, is a leader in Canada’s shipbuilding and ship repair industry. With modern facilities and a dedicated workforce of 3,600 in North Vancouver and Victoria, Seaspan Shipyards has proven itself to be a trusted partner on a range of complex projects for both government and the private sector. Seaspan Shipyards is proud to be Canada’s chosen non-combat shipbuilder under the NSS. In this capacity, the company is building state-of-the-art ships in Canada for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. Through its NSS-related work, Seaspan Shipyards is creating jobs, generating economic benefits and rebuilding Canada’s shipbuilding and marine industries.

Jessica Gares, Manager of External Communications