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The History of the CARIBOU

The Orca class is a ship class of eight steel-hulled Canadian navy Training Tenders. Loosely based on the Australian-designed Pacific-class patrol boat, the Orca class was constructed by Victoria Shipyards between November 2004 and November 2008, at a total project cost of C$90.7 million. All eight are based at CFB Esquimalt in British Columbia. They replaced the YAG 300 class and primarily operate as training platforms and surveillance craft.

The Orca class was designed to replace the 1950s-era wooden hulled YAG 300 class. The ship's hull design shares features of the Australian Pacific-class patrol boat, with minor modifications. The superstructure design of the Orca class is all new and designed to accommodate Canadian naval requirements. Ultimately the Canadian Government purchased eight for the Canadian Navy. The project was completed when Moose (PCT 62) was delivered November 27 2008.

The primary use of the Orca class is the training of naval officers and at-sea familiarization for sea cadets. The ships may also be assigned to support surveillance and other operations if required. While primarily used for training, they provide commanders with a greater ability and flexibility to maintain a naval presence in coastal areas and to quickly respond to maritime security challenges. Manoeuvrable and capable of relatively high speed, the Orca class is a valuable asset when incorporated into port security operations, exercises, or other similar activities. Two were temporarily fitted with machine guns for duty during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

At 20 knots (37 km/h), these vessels are 5 knots (9.3 km/h) faster than the Kingston-class Maritime Coastal Defense Vessel (MCDV), but slower than many purpose-built patrol craft, such as the 30-knot (56 km/h) United States Coast Guard's Island class cutter.

CARIBOU Statistical Data

  • Pendant: 57
  • Type: (PCT) Training Vessel
  • Class: Orca
  • Displacement: 210 tonnes
  • Length: 33 m / 108.3 ft
  • Width: 8.34 m / 27.4 ft
  • Draught: 2 m / 6.6 ft
  • Speed: 20+ kts
  • Compliment: 4 crew plus 16 trainees (+4 spar Officers and Crew
  • Arms: Optional .50 cal machine guns.
  • Builder: Victoria Shipyards, Victoria, BC
  • Keel Laid:
  • Date Launched: 2 May 07
  • Date Commissioned: 31 Jul 07
  • Paid off:


The ORCA class are not actually commissioned ships. The commissioned date above shows the date that the vessel was accepted by the navy.

Keywords: CARIBOU, Her Majesty's Canadian Ship CARIBOU, Canadian Navy Ship, (PCT) Training Vessel, Orca Class