A 150-litre lubricating oil leak on the Queen of Coquitlam delayed ferry sailings from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast by more than three hours on Friday.

BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall said that the ferry was pulled out of commission around 11 a.m. after workers in Langdale picked up on the oil leak.

"They noticed a sheen in the water," she said.

Absorbent pads were set up at the Langdale terminal to soak up the oil, and a boom was put in place at Horseshoe Bay.

Repairs to the ferry meant that both the 11:20 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. sailings were missed, but Marshall said the Queen of Cowichan was brought in and was able to take on all waiting passengers for a 2:30 p.m. sailing.

She estimated that the damaged ferry would be ready to sail again by 4 p.m.