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Everything posted by jonno

  1. Ah so now the thinking is to keep Ben my Chree as the extra capacity, that makes more sense and gives them reliable cover for winter maintenance. I see the value of investment has been raised by £10m too... Thanks Nick. I think this where the newspaper article is sourced from. https://www.steam-packet.com/news/2019/Mar/New_Sea_Services_Agreement_to_go_before_Tynwald?__SPCoWinID=6f8e5ce4-3f79-420d-b878-4c0a1f5e3812 Could that be an option for the CI's, two 130m 650 pax (400 bed) RoPax and retain the Clipper in the role Goodwill currently performs?
  2. Aren't we concluding then that the service to and from the Channel Islands is similar to a ferry company rather than a lifeline service Islanders depend on in order to live their lives? The only difference to between the Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight is distance from the mainland. Many CI inhabitants are just as dependant on the maritime links and should expect a similar type of service. It's the reason why Liberation isn't fit for purpose apart from ferrying holidaymakers when the sun shines and the sea is calm, as soon as the clouds move in the service becomes questionable... It's a bit like needing to drive 100 miles to work every morning and not knowing whether your car will start. You'd soon be along to your local dealer for a replacement.
  3. That was the original plan stated in the original draft of the strategic sea services agreement in 2016. The mooted single 800 pax vessel was the more economical solution for the previous Spanish owners but now the government own IOMSPC the thinking is in line with the Oxera Consulting report. "28. Although IOMSPC has offered to build a new 800 pax vessel as part of its proposal for a new Sea Services Agreement, this seems to be contrary to the reality that for most of the year, with the exception of the TT period, the MV Ben-my-Chree and the HSC Manannan operates with a passenger and vehicle load factor of around 35-40%. Two smaller vessels could provide the Island with greater levels of flexibility to better meet the Island’s strategic needs. A single larger vessel may be more economical to operate, but more frequent sailings are likely to be preferred by users. 29. Further work would be required to assess the optimal size of the vessels, balancing the needs of passenger comfort, meeting demands during peaks and the control of operating costs."
  4. Not necessarily. A shipping company and a user agreement aren't mutually exclusive. Regardless of what Macquarie do with Condor the States may decide to change focus completely and as you hinted at previously part invest in the tonnage & HSC's themselves along with BF & use BAI as the operators, an area they have decades of success in. Whomever buys Condor may well find themselves with four craft with nowhere to sail to such has been the level of service in recent years. It's up to the Island States who turns up at their ports. It'a about time the CI's follow the example of the Isle of Man and Scottish Islands and retake control of their crucial sea links.
  5. I've been having a dig about Ben my Cree. The reason they want to replace her is because she's too big. Apart from during the TT both the RoPax and the HSC operate with load factors of around 35-40%. Manannan will be replaced by 2021 at the latest. It appears now that greater flexibility will be found in having two smaller RoPax. @hhvferry brings up a very good strategic point, the remaining term of the license agreement. Again using IOMSP & Tynwald as an example, their 25 year agreement is valued at £120m after the IOM government bought Steam Packet for £124m. This also brings another interesting aspect into the equation. If, as @hhvferry suggests the value of the tonnage is very much secondary in the minds of say BF, having the longer term view of replacement, why not wait until the next tender period? Two new build 130m 350-400 berth RoPax and a couple of more recently built Incat HSC's would cost a lot less than the £250m asking price for Condor. They already have infrastructure at all three ports.
  6. All of them but on paper the purchase will be a separate transaction with the seller seeing a lot of profit. A lot of these previous companies mentioned on here are listed as dormant, a bit like a SORN declaration. The more you follow the trail, the longer the list becomes. Don't look too hard, there's nothing there, zero transactions. Market intelligence analysts S&P Global who Bloomberg use have never found anything. It's a shell. The MEIF II time limited fund is gone. It was designed to buy transport, energy & communication companies in order to create separate holdings then flog them off. In their individual component parts they are far more valuable. Techem was sold last year. Autoroutes 2 years earlier. They're in the process of splitting Arquiva, the WiFi holding sold to Virgin. Another biggie Céské Radiokomunikace has been up for sale for nearly a decade but crucially doesn't include Towercom... which is the holding everyone wants too as you can't run one successfully without the other. Those who are interested must buy both separately. We know Macquarie sold Wightlink to Balfour Beatty for £300m which was another time limited fund, When the time ran out on that one all they did - with the help of Macquarie - was create another called Basalt. 50% of that has now been sold by Basalt to another time limited fund Fiera again with the assistance of Macquarie. None of the companies, Condor, Wightlink, Red Funnel are owned by anyone with any shipping knowledge or interest. Read the stuff on the Green Bank it's what brought Macquarie's nickname within the financial industry, the vampire kangaroo, to the forefront.
  7. I was trying to edit and add a bit more but left it too long... The liabilites are £34m which is probably the balance of the £50m for Liberation. The ships don't form any part of the valuation due to amortisation.
  8. These are the most recent figures I can access. These are 2018 year end figures and do not differentiate between pax or freight, they are consolidated. Number of employees, 129. Turnover, £6,376,893. Post Tax Profit, £12,431. Total Assets, £2,626,901. Net Assets, £2,617,901. Return on Capital Employed (%), 0.48%. Debt to Capital (%), 0.34%. The sale does not include Morvan Fils Voyages or Morvan Fils Transit, the only subsidiaries, which together had a turnover of €8.3m in 2018.
  9. Guernsey RoRo berths max length is 135m and a max permissible draft of 5.5m. The two RoRo berths at Jersey are 136m with a max permissible 6m draft. At Macquarie's current valuation, around £270m, I can really see anyone buying Condor especially as their turnover is less than Merseytravel's ferries linking Liverpool to Birkenhead & Wallasey. Condor's asset value has dropped to £2.6m since 2016 and turnover is around £6m (£5.9m to be more precise). Compare that to Wightlink which was sold for £300m, their turnover in 2018 was £61m.
  10. When the sale was first mentioned during March 2018 I found this a little ominous... There was a quote made by Guernsey's economic development president, he said: "if no buyer where found it would be up to the States to ensure that the ferry company continues to come to Guernsey."
  11. Is that pic of when she sailed for DFDS? I notice she has the cow catcher fitted. Certainly not a licensed product, someone has been busy with adobe photoshop and removed the livery. Edit:.. of course it is Iain you numpty, the clue is in the word Calais in big letters plastered across the image. Ok, I'm off to give my head a wobble.
  12. Yes, the ex Leonora Christina but she's an Austel built Catamaran similar to Dublin Swift not a Trimaran such as Benchijigua Express or Condor Liberation.
  13. @Nick Hyde is this something that FerrySpeed/EuroSpeed might want a stake in?
  14. Don't know but comparing the plans for the older Benchijigua Express with Libby (Auto Express 102) there a few distinct differences, the former is more angular and has a more pronounced bow. In 15 years Austal have only sold two of this design for civilian use, One to Fred Olsen and the other to Condor, one was built to order the other was left ignored for five years. The two ordered in April are first in 9 years. All the rest of the civilian Austel HSC's are all catamarans such as Jonathon Swift and her replacement Dublin Swift. it's interesting that Fred Olsen don't use the Trimaran on their longer HSC routes, they use the older cats. On their longest route(s) they use a conventional Balearia ferry.
  15. Gareth, yeah maybe I do but Vitesse only stopped at Guernsey on her way to St Malo and back which including turnarounds cuts around 4 hours off the journey plus she was only ever filled to two thirds capacity. I do remember that due to her peak season Poole inclusion on her timetable Express was always the one which suffered "technical difficulties" too. How many times was cover needed? That kind of timetable isn't healthy for a 40kt aluminium ferry, they'll age very quickly in the same way short haul rotations rather than air miles age aircraft. I don't see Liberation's handling characteristics as another argument, she's fit for purpose or she isn't. For me she isn't and never has been. Yes she's sleek, fast and shiny but so too are Polaris missiles and I wouldn't want to be strapped to one of those... there's a reason why she was ignored for five years, not even the companies whose sole business is island hopping fast craft were interested and for me she's the reason for all the negativity surrounding Condor. Oh and the price... fifty million?? Austel had a big party that day. For a new owner it's simple, replace Liberation with a quality Incat and continue the service they already have and then replace both the Clipper & Goodwill with a couple of 130m long conventional RoPax. Comfort, quality, consistency & reliability is all that's required. I really hope Libby isn't replaced with a conventional ferry, that's a bit like replacing an inter city train with coach and I have a feeling those living in the Channel Islands will be a tad annoyed. Tony, Portsmouth to Cherbourg is a short crossing of around 70 nautical miles, it's not much further than Poole.
  16. I think all HSC's are only capable of one round trip. If you take into account that Liberation takes 3 hours to reach Guernsey, once outside the swash channel she's pushing 40 kts, Consider the time it takes Barfy to reach Cherbourg which is 20 nm closer. A conventional day sailing ferry from Poole would take 6 hours to reach Guernsey, it would be late afternoon before she reached Jersey. You'd be back in the U.K at around 0200. As I posted earlier, replacing the trimaran with a more suitable HSC would offer more stability. The new Incats carry almost as may HGV's as Bretagne as well as around 250 cars. For a vessel a little more balanced offering a conventional overnight service in each direction to Portsmouth you only need to look at the ships of Northlink... 600 pax, close on 360 berths and capable of carrying a little more freight or pax vehicles all enclosed. The CI's could easily accommodate similar ships to these. It's not out of the question by any means. For a shipping company serious enough to want to make it work in the long term rather than a bunch of venture capitalists a balance of investment of around £120m overall isn't unrealistic.
  17. Nick, you'd prefer cutting pax capacity by two thirds (Lib 880, Clipper 300) to just 400 or so in order to have a conventional overnight sailing? The round trip to both islands on the Libby is the best part of 9 hours now, the Clipper takes 13 hours? I agree that having a couple of 400 berth Ropax is desirable , you're offering a lot of added value for your travellers not to mention comfy beds for all but you'll still be in need of your fast service.
  18. Barfy is longer than Bretagne, just a couple of metres shorter than Normandie. Regarding new vessel investment by a new owner it may be worth remembering that Condor's turnover is around £6 million and assets are only around £2.5m (the ships don't count as they're subject to amortisation and are only viable cash wise when sold). EBITDA is only around £500k. Where's the money coming from for these new ferries? Again worth noting is the finite number of persons the islands can cope with during the peak months, you can't keep simply packing them in because a greater ship capacity allows it. Having a consistent & reliable service first and foremost for the Islanders is the priority, if better heads can come together in order to achieve this with the current fleet then surely that's top of the list.
  19. Having never travelled on them, just judged from a distance and on the berth at PIP, what's the issue with the two conventional ferry's. They're not particularly old and seem to be the consistent performers?
  20. The larger more modern Incats similar to the one launched for Armas earlier are far more stable lowering the stresses and strains which lead to higher maintenance costs. There stability is what makes them a popular option on the Med' which is Europe's roughest sea. When you compare what they can carry and their cost new (64m) to what Condor forked out for a 5 year old Liberation 4 years ago (£50m) I could easily envisage a company such BF replacing her and Rapide with a couple of them. I agree with Chris, there's a lot of scope for BF if they decide to go ahead. High speed from Poole anti clockwise, high speed from Portsmouth clockwise. The two conventional ferries could stop at Cherbourg en route.
  21. The BF news room press release states that the ship sails between Ancona & Trieste... I hope not or our friends in Cork will be in for a long wait. AF Michela sails to Albania, neither Adria nor any other passenger ferry sails between Ancona & Trieste. I think capitano de nave knows if he's heading north or south, clearly BF don't.
  22. Spot on Ed. The Visentini's can get in everywhere which will include Caen when the berth is lengthened for Honfleur. I think your point regarding the international crew aboard Connemara's replacement is a crucial & valid one.
  23. Probably, Adria didn't really want her for another year after they'd bought California Star from Baja the same week as they announced the charter extension. We knew they'd need cover from April when BDS returns although with PA gone for over two months Bretagne wont be rested now either so it's a prudent move although either Stena Lagan or Mersey is being replaced in November, I'm sure BF passengers would have much preferred one of those. I must say I'm becoming a little concerned as BF seem to be too heavily reliant on other carriers cast offs or designs... Etretat, BDS, Connemara and now a 3rd Visentini, they really are beginning to lower our travel expectations.
  24. I quite like them, they remind me of something which came out of a thunderbird 2 pod... wonder what they look like in pink with a big glass dome type thingy...?
  25. jonno


    It's just an easy way for staff to know by sight that it's empty just by looking down a corridor, once staff have cleaned them the door is then closed signalling that it's ready for use again. Without a wedge many of them spring back shut anyway.
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