-History photo and story contributed by Old Kelowna, Facebook –
The West Kelowna Yacht Club’s Club House the M.V. Pendozi was designed in 1938 by Mr. T. Halliday, a naval Architect from Vancouver. It is 122 feet long, with a beam of 41’ 4” and a draft of 6’2”. When used as a ferry it had a capacity of 30 cars and 150 passengers. It had two 160 h.p. Vivian Diesel Engines.
The original cost to build it was $123,000.00 in 1938. It was launched, Thursday, May 8, 1939. The fare for a Passenger was .10 and for a car and driver it was .75. Trucks were $1 and up.
The MV Pendozi worked continuously during the war. There was no relief vessel and no possibility of building one, due to the war. Repairs were made at night or while under way using only one engine. There was no ferry slips available for hull inspections. In 1944 plans were drawn up for a slip to be built at a cost of $36,000.00. Work commenced on the slipway in 1944 but was hampered by a shortage of materials.
In addition to its regular schedule, the MV Pendozi made special trips for group organizations, troops, hauling loads of sheep and at 3:27 am December 13, 1944 was even called out for a maternity case.
With the completion of the ferry slip in 1945, the Pendozi was hauled up for hull inspection and despite its winter runs through ice, was found to be in good condition.
The last day of Kelowna – Westbank ferry service (10 minute crossing) occurred on July 20, 1958.