This thread isn't ship specific, but I came across a little anecdote of one of BC's first ferry men in the book, "The Illustrated History of British Columbia".
His name was Franklin Way, and he was an American who came up during the gold rush in the late 1850's. He operated a rope ferry across the Fraser River which he built at Spuzzum to connect travellers to a trail around the Fraser Canyon.
Unlike today's ferry operators, it seems that he made quite a profit from his job.
The book quotes David Higgins who related his conversation with ferry man Frank Way:
"[Frank Way] made barrels of money ferrying miners and their effects across the Fraser at 50 cents a head. He told me that one day he earned in fares a tin bucket full of silver and gold. Once, he said, he started across with 10 men in his boat. The craft ran into a riffle and was upset. All were drowned save him.
'You were out their fares' I said.
'No I wasn't,' he answered. 'I always collected in advance for fear of just such an accident."