Howe Island


Frontenac-Howe Islander Ferry 2017 underwent its out-of-water inspection between October 29 and November 22, 2017. During this time we kept this Frequently Asked Questions webpage up to day.

The Frontenac-Howe Islander Ferry is now back in service and this FAQ was last updated on Thursday November 23, 2017 9 a.m.

  1. Q: What are dates for the Frontenac-Howe Islander Ferry 2017 out-of-water inspection?
    A: The ferry left our docks on Sunday October 29. The return to service date for the Frontenac-Howe Islander Ferry is Wednesday November 22. On November 22, the MV Quinte Loyalist was taken out of service at 9 a.m. The Frontenac Howe Islander to returned to service around 3 p.m. 

  2. Q: How will emergency services be able to reach Howe Island during the 2017 out-of-water inspection?
    A: During MV Quinte Loyalist hours of operation (6 a.m. - 11:45 p.m.), emergency services will access Howe Island as they normally do. Frontenac Paramedic Services has decide to station an ambulance crew on Howe Island (from 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. daily).
  3. Q: Are there changes in ferry operation hours and service during the 2017 out-of-water inspection?
    A: Yes. The hours of operation of the Loyalist will be from 6 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. The Loyalist will operate on a scheduled service; leaving the mainland on the hour and ½ hour; leaving the island on the ¼ hour and ¾ hour. During the peak hours of 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the vessel will go off schedule when there are line ups and clear those lineups.

  4. Q: Is the MV Quinte Loyalist more affected by high winds than the Frontenac-Howe Islander while servicing Howe Island?
    A: Yes. The MV Quinte Loyalist doesn't use cables to get across (which is different from the Frontenac-Howe Islander). Once the MV Quinte Loyalist reaches its docking area the captain doesn't have the benefit of the cables guiding him to land and as such heavy winds and high waves can make it unsafe to dock.
    In addition, there are no safety hooks to secure the MV Quinte Loyalist to the mainland so it must be held in place by the captain's maneuvering.

  5. Q: Can the dates for the out-of-water inspection change?
    A: Yes. 
  6. Q: Will you notify us if the out-of-water inspection dates change?
    A: Yes. We will inform you via Twitter (@HICountyFerry) and the ferry email alerts.
  7. Q: Will there be extra staff at the Township Ferry on Sunday October 29?
    A: Yes. The Township Ferry will be up-staffed during all of Sunday October 29 and it will run all of Sunday night.

  8. Q: Will the Township Ferry continue to operate during the service 2017 out-of-water inspection?
    A: Yes. The Township Ferry will operate 24 hours a day during this period.

  9. Q: Has there been consideration given to availability of emergency services in the case both ferries are out of service?
    A: Yes. Both Frontenac Paramedic Services and Howe Island Fire and Rescue have reviewed their contingency plan if both ferries are out of service.

  10. Q: Why is this out-of-water inspection happening?
    A: This out-of-water inspection process is mandated by Transport Canada and occurs every four years. 
  11. Q: Will the Frontenac-Howe Islander Ferry be replaced with another ferry during the 2017 out-of-water inspection?
    A: Yes. Howe Island will be serviced by the MV Quinte Loyalist during the 2017 out-of-water inspection.
  12. Q: Will there be changes to the school bus schedule during the 2017 out-of-water inspection?
    A: No.

  13. Q: Should I expect longer loading times during the 2017 out-of-water inspection?
    A: Yes, you should expect a longer loading period as vehicles will have to be slowly manoeuvred past the aligning area to utilize car deck space.
  14. Q: Does the Loyalist Ferry come with some of its original crew?
    A: Yes. The Loyalist Ferry comes with some of its original crew. In the interest of crew safety please be alert for extra crew members in addition to County crew. Please pay particular attention to staff loading vehicles onto the vessel. 
  15. Q: Does the MV Quinte Loyalist carry the same amount of cars as the Frontenac-Howe Islander Ferry 2017?
    A: No. The Quinte Loyalist is capable of carrying up to three more cars than the Frontenac Howe Islander. However, no vehicle can be heavier than 13 tonnes, which is the maximum capacity of the ramp extensions.

  16. Q: I use the ferry in a commercial capacity and I have further questions about the ability of the ferry to accommodate me and my business during the 2017 out-of-water inspection.
    A: Commercial ferry users who have specific questions about the ability of the replacement ferry to accommodate their vehicles should contact Frontenac County's Marine Supervisor Campbell Dailey at (613) 542-4959.

  17. Q: Will the current staff breaks be eliminated or altered during the 2017 out-of-water inspection?
    A: No. The County and Ministry of Transportation are required under legislation and collective agreements to provide breaks for their employees. It is unlikely that breaks will be altered.