Canadian West Coast Voyages by Boutique Ship

The Union Jack Specs

Learn about the mechanics of the Union Jack

The Heart of the Union Jack

The engine room is described as the heart of any ship and the Union Jack is no exception. On this page we have highlighted some of the mechanical facts and statistics of our stunning heritage vessel as she cruises through Canada's West Coast.



The Union Jack has four engines, all powered by diesel. They include:

  • The Original Union Diesel Engine – A six-cylinder engine that is the heart of the ship and is responsible for our main propulsion. It has a shipping weight of approximately 40,000 pounds.
  • Kubota Auxiliary Engine – A new engine added during the refit process. This engine drives the hydraulic motors and belts. It also powers the air compressors that build air for the main Union Diesel engine.
  • Kubota Generators – Onboard there are two 13 kilowatt generators that power all the ship’s electricity.

Engine Statistics

  • Our Union Diesel Engine weighs an excess of 36,000 pounds
  • It is a P-6 engine, which refers to it’s six cylinders
  • The engine has an RPM of 300
  • The ship operates with a horsepower of 400
  • The average speed is between 8-10 nautical knots per hour

    The image on the left is of the Union Jack's first sea trial on November 1, 1941.


Mechanics & Operations

  • The Union Jack operators with a direct drive mechanism, which means there is no neutral or clutch. Once the ship is started, it then immediately powers the drive shaft.
  • The engine requires it to be hand oiled in order to power the valves and injectors on top during operation.

Union Diesel Engine

Revolutionary in the 1950s, the Union Jack is powered with a Union Diesel Engine. These 6-cylinder engines came from San Francisco, California and were known for being a leader in industrial engine production.

Their engines were soon used in a variety of vessels from tugboats, passenger ferries (such as the North Vancouver Ferry), to cargo ships and leisure yachts. The brand’s reputation for producing high-quality products ensured that ships with Union Diesel engines were reliable for long-haul trips, pulling heavy cargo and rough weather.



Within the image on the left side, you can see the various specifications of our Union Diesel engine including:

  • Piston speed
  • Break mean effective pressure
  • Cylinder and bearing length/diameter
  • Revolutions per minute

  • What to learn more about the Union Jack?

    Every guest aboard the Union Jack has the opportunity to learn about the engine, ship history, and the six-year refit process during a tour of the vessel led by either our captain or lead engineer.

    Interested in seeing the ship before booking a tour with us? Contact one of our Personal Concierges to arrange a viewing of the ship at the picturesque Vancouver Maritime Museum.

    Ready to get started? Adventure awaits.

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