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Gareth

BFE Staff
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Everything posted by Gareth

  1. Not going to get into this any further. I’ve contributed to this thread to try to be helpful, not to get into an argument. If what I’ve contributed has been helpful to Ed then great. If not then fine. He can take it or leave it.
  2. And I think Liberation will have a great new chance, under BF ownership, if placed on a route for which she will be able to operate within her comfort zone. I see no reason why she should not be able to run 2 rotations per day from Portsmouth to Cherbourg. Freed from the shackles of operating to ports where they have to allow so much contingency time for turnarounds that she will finally stand a chance of being able to operate profitably by running the option of a second daily rotation. BF’s bid may be the saving grace, not only for ferry services to the islands, but also for Liberation’s fortunes.
  3. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    I travelled on CF once (and I’m glad I did, for the experience), but have no wish to do so again. For me, too, it is Pont Aven every time.
  4. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    Yes, if departure from Portsmouth is a pre-requisite then choice of sailing times might trump everything else (especially if landing destination in Spain is flexible).
  5. The cats never had to have their schedules cut to one rotation per day in order to cope. So the comparison is not valid.
  6. Sounds like we are all singing from the same hymn sheet then. I could start talking about the fact that this is clearly a BF map (and not a “routes associated with BF map) by virtue of the absence of Channel Island routes on it. But having already established that we are talking about the post-Duchesse Anne era, and that we are all agreed we are talking about 1999-2000, there is no point.
  7. Slightly economical with the truth there, Mr Luxon. Of course she has no problems maintaining the schedule she has now ended up with, because Condor has reduced its demands on Liberation to one rotation per day. But she had massive problems maintaining the schedule for which she was originally purchased, and which was managed successfully by her predecessors Express and Vitesse. She simply couldn’t do it. For understandable reasons, which we’ve discussed before, but she couldn’t do it. So you stopped requiring her to. But one rotation per day was not the economics that Condor had in mind of her when she was purchased. The fact that she can successfully maintain half of what was intended from her when she was ordered does not hide the fact that she was a strategic mistake for this route. She spends just 8 hours of every 24 hour period at sea, and that’s all she can manage. Even NEX and Barfleur can do more than that when BF schedules them to. Was being in port two thirds of the time really what Condor spent all that money on Liberation to do?!
  8. Do we know when the outcome of the bidding process (for the sale of Condor) is set to be announced?
  9. Nick are you suggesting the tunnel would be to England?! The new port is needed for UK ships, not St Malo ships! I agree a new purpose-built ship or two is a more viable solution. And the islands will never really be big enough to warrant ships that do not fit the current infrastructure. So the talk of new infrastructure is purely to enable purchase of second-hand tonnage and avoid new builds - which is surely a completely topsy turvy argument.
  10. Yes I agree - the north coast idea wouldn’t remove St Helier from use but I suspect the St Malo link does not require larger ferries. The investment at St Helier would need a more extensive breakwater, extending south of the current shelter provided by the structure at Elizabeth Castle, enclosing a larger harbour area. Difficult to see where a new ferryport would go to be both accessible by larger ships and also suitably sheltered from prevailing conditions.
  11. Jersey’s “best” solution (from a technical feasibility point of view) may be a completely new harbour up on the north coast. Maybe in the Bouley Bay area?. Fewer rocks (not no rocks, that is not possible, but fewer than around St Helier) and sheltered from the prevailing winds. And quicker to get to from the north. Complete pie in the sky from a finance point of view, probably, but technically the option that has the potential to solve the problem. As long as the Jersey end is confined to St Helier I suspect the point of doing anything on Guernsey would be negated.
  12. You can’t help but wonder whether Jersey missed a trick when they built the (then) new ferryport outside the main harbour at St Helier. But the approach route up to the harbour is very tight so I suspect maybe their available solutions are not as apparent as they are on Guernsey.
  13. Yes, and the talk of building bigger harbours has also been going on for decades but never come to anything. I remember St Sampson on Guernsey was the subject of a lot of excitement for a while. But, really, the small harbours are part of the Islands’ charm.
  14. Gareth

    CF vs PA

    CF’s restaurant is quite an odd design, in that it forms the corridor for people getting from one end of the ship to the other. So there is constant traffic through it, and its design is not conducive to a buffet. As a result the menu is purely a la carte, and is I believe unique in the fleet as far as what is on the menu. That said, it is a pleasant enough experience, but does not match Le Flora for ambience or choice. As far as I am aware, the only cabins in the fleet that open to the air are PA’s commodores. CF does not have commodores but does have a few relatively small de luxe cabins at the front of the ship. There are forward facing and contain double beds. Other things to consider are ports and timings. CF sails once a week to Santander (on Fridays) and twice a week to Bilbao (Wednesdays and the Sunday two-nighter). I personally would choose PA every time, but CF has many fans (who particularly rave about her sea-keeping qualities in lumpy seas). PA’s Sunday departure is particularly civilised, departing from Plymouth late afternoon and getting to Spain at lunchtime the following day.
  15. Seems to say it all. But if BF is successful, and does move Liberation to its Portsmouth-Cherbourg route (renamed) as I am predicting (where she could be successful) then it could be a win-win. I agree she is a PR liability for the CI operation, and will always be, but that's because of the errors of management judgement in thinking that she could maintain the lifeline single-handed, not because of there being anything intrinsically wrong with the vessel. BF acquiring Condor's services is probably the only serious prospect for a credible ferry service to the Islands to return.
  16. Portsmouth-Santander did not start until 2009, so that does not add anything new. However, the absence of Cork-St Malo moves the earliest date to later than 1995.
  17. Also, no Portsmouth-Santander.
  18. Other points of interest are that it includes Poole-Cherbourg, which dates it to sometime after 1993, and it does not include Portsmouth-Cherbourg, which must take it back to around 2004 or earlier. So we have a window of about 11 years. The later end of that fits with your 15 years.
  19. I’m not sure whether there is a unique answer to that question Ed, for St Helier. In terms of an absolute draught limit, if we are going to define that as able to stay afloat at the roro berths through LW springs, then we’re probably talking about the 6m figure to which those berths are dredged. But access in and out of the port for a 6m draught is probably limited to the top half of the tide. I don’t believe there is any draught that would enable entry and exit at all states of tide. So the answer to your question can only be given within a parameter of what proportion of the tidal cycle you want to ensure access for. The shallower the draught, the wider the access will be. Generally the ferries that operate in and out of St Helier tend to be able to navigate the harbour at most states of tide, apart from an hour or so either side of LW springs. So that’s probably what a draught of around 4m will get you. If you go to a 5m draught, I suspect your access will be restricted within 2 hours of LW springs and probably 1 hour of LW neaps.
  20. The shortest distance between Jersey and France is to the Portbail / Carteret area from the NE corner of the island. Heading out east is also generally the shallowest water. That would still require a tunnel about three quarters of the length of the Channel Tunnel though. If the Chunnel was only marginally viable (and not even yet really profitable) linking a population of (then) 55 million people to mainland Europe, how could a tunnel of almost the same proportions be viable for an island of a hundred thousand? I’d be staggered if that happened in my lifetime.
  21. Sadly, and not intending to provoke controversy, Liberation is a big reason for that. She is a very expensive elephant to own and maintain for one paltry rotation per day. Not what was intended when Condor did the maths on purchasing her. I’m sure that Liberation is a lovely craft to sail in, when she sails, and if you like that sort of thing, but in terms if the bottom line Condor was always going to struggle to balance the books with her in the fleet.
  22. When Sealink ran its 2-ship service from Portsmouth, the overnight sailings were directly between Portsmouth and St Helier in both directions. The ships then called at St Peter Port on their daytime run back the other way.
  23. @jonnoYes, as far as Poole is concerned I agree - but when conditions become problematic at Poole they will be problematic for fast craft out at sea too, so it’s not really an additional problem. I was thinking more about the problems that Liberation has had at St Helier and St Peter Port, which are exacerbated by her size and the fact that the harbours are very tight for her (making windy conditions disproportionately problematic for her in those ports). My feeling is that NEX would probably cope with those constraints better.
  24. No, I don’t do ferries by Facebook. The discourse I involve myself in is in civilised forums like this one, and I don’t detect “hate” in the posts that have addressed Liberation’s limitations.
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