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Posts posted by jonno

  1. 3 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

    Is that passenger turnover only or including freight? It seems ridiculously low to me. Ed. 

    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%.

    1 hour ago, northsaul2 said:

    Jonno, where on earth did you get those figures from.  Turnover £6m asset value £2.6m???  Condor passenger numbers are around 350,000 there on board spend will be about £20 per head alone.  Freight rates to the CI's are some of the highest in the world, between Clipper and Goodwill there is lane meters of around 2200 per day in each direction.  I believe usage is around 80%, so they must be receiving tens of millions in freight revenue.

    Are you sure you are not looking at one of their subsiduaries

    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.



  2. 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.

    • Like 1

  3. 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.

    • Haha 2

  4. 4 hours ago, elcotillo said:

    Interesting conversation. The Austal vessel that now runs between Morro Jable in Fuerteventura and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a 10,369 GRT monster, the Betancuria Express, constructed in 2011. Since the demise of the Stena HSS, she is the largest fast ferry of her type in the world. She is run by Fred Olsen.

    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.

  5. 6 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

    But they are interested in buying a brand new 118m one. Fred Olsen signed a deal with Austal in April for a second such ship for their lines around the Canary Islands which I imagine can get pretty rough too. Does the extra length make a difference? Or have they improved the design since Liberation was built to make them inherently more stable? 

    Interestingly the Austal website has a photo of Condor Liberation with a caption saying 'Redefining Maritime Excellence'! 



    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.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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.

    6 hours ago, Nick Hyde said:

    Also, Jonno when I talk about 400 berth ro paxes I'm talking about the number of beds and not the total passenger capacity. Clipper only has 160 berths

    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.

    • Like 1

  8. 28 minutes ago, Nick Hyde said:

    Gareth, personally I think two 400 or so berth ro pax newbuildings would be better deployed on the Portsmouth to CI route only. Fast craft to St Malo would work better. 

    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.

  9. 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.




    • Like 3

  10. 20 minutes ago, Nick Hyde said:

    If Brittany Ferries bought Condor we may also indeed see a return to the overnight ferry model that BCIF previously had. After all Brittany had a 28 per cent shareholding in Channel Island Ferries Ltd., the holding company for BCIF. Both Clipper and Goodwill also need replacing sooner rather than later.

    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?


  11. 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.


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  12. 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.



    4 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

    I think this is what happens:

    Normandie will move to Le Havre when, and only when, Honfleur arrives. As that date is uncertain she is staying put for the moment. 

    This new ferry replaces Connemara between Ireland and Spain using an international crew when the latter is reflagged to France and adopts a French crew.

    Connemara then moves to Portsmouth - Le Havre freeing up Etretat to provide cover on a range of routes (if she fits the ports) while other ferries are away for refits etc. She is the most BF-ified of all the Economie ferries so is less of a shock.

    PA is away for quite some time so Bretagne will stay on for longer than usual (and maybe not be laid up at all) while the flagship is out of action. 


    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.

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  14. 1 hour ago, TonyMWeaver said:

    Possibly 'AF Michela'

    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.

    • Like 3

  15. 2 hours ago, Khaines said:

    Why is there an announcement asking for people to leave their cabin doors open when they vacate them?  I was having a coffee downstairs after vacating mine Saturday morning and this announcement sounded, I had shut mine, naturally after vacating I shut the door, then I hear that.  I was not traipsing all the way back up there to open it again!  Never remember hearing that before, what is the point of that...???  Had already had to go back up there once to look for a hairband...🙄

    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.

    • Like 1

  16. 37 minutes ago, Timmy said:

    She has two props and shafts but unusually for a ferry she won't have have controllable pitch propellers, they'll be fixed. Though as they'll be powered by electric motors reversing direction of turn will be easier than on a traditional HFO/MDO engine.

    Spot on, I'll add that LNG is also a more powerful fuel to begin with.

    We're having a hybrid system fitted into our narrowboat, ok it's only 3-4mph but it'll be 18 tonnes of steel thicker than a ships hull which takes a lot of energy to get going and to stop. The response times upto 900 rpm are far quicker, it's akin to a bow thruster.

    I was impressed when the lads at Beta Marine showed me it anyway...

  17. 11 hours ago, hf_uk said:

    I would be interested in Jonno's comment to point 3...

    (I did always wonder why a 737 on one engine doesn't go round in circles)!

    I'll leave aircraft as it'll mean going into Reynolds numbers & fluid dynamics, inboard and outboard wing mounting position, weight etc.

    Pont Aven has two rudders which are hydraulic, all pressurised hot fluids and pistons with tonnes of force, normal operation such as cavitation during sailing & manoeuvring wont effect them. I'd not be surprised if the engine failure effected power to the steering hydraulics causing a fault which only manifested itself when she returned to service. Engines don't just power prop shafts.

    Most modern ships have adjustable blades, in a similar manner to prop driven aircraft... blades can be feathered (straightened) to reduce drag/propulsion or angled to allow more bite. 

    When a ship such as Pont Aven goes astern her prop shafts rotate in the same direction as she's going ahead, it's the blades which rotate determining the direction which is why it's common to see different states of water turbulence. It also greatly enhances her steering ability. Consider a turn to port, starboard propeller ahead, port propeller astern. Think of your hands on a steering wheel when turning left, you push up with right - ahead and pull down with the left - astern.

    South coast marinas are full of flying bridge twin screw cruisers which will often use their throttle levers to compensate for wind and tide. The beauty for many of these however is that they can moor in different directions... into the wind and against the tide for instance, using the natural elements to assist. Ships don't have that little luxury, look at Millbay - the ferries berth the same way regardless so it all needs to be mechanical which is why bow & stern thrusters are so useful. Having them push the ship in opposite directions greatly assists manoeuvring allowing them to turn in their length, they'll steer from the centre turning both the bow and stern rather than just having the blunt end swing.

    Another obstacle many ships face is the lack of depth under the keel. Shallow older ports and those subject to sea bed shifting and silting greatly effect the mobility of a ship, the closer they are to the bed the greater the squat effect which in turn reduces the amount of water the blades have to use for propulsion. Power is greatly reduced and one of the main reasons why we see tug assistance. In this instance tugs also reduce the risk of blade damage due to underwater obstacles such as berth armour which can be freed under turbulence also causing damage to the skeg and rudder cups.



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  18. 17 hours ago, David Williams said:

    The funding referred to is the state guarantees for the loans needed to build the ships. Without it they can’t finance them. Earlier articles in the German papers said that they would only get the guarantees if they could show that future work is profitable. 

    This is the yards own press release.

    Flensburg, 30. April 2019; As part of the process in moving torward with the reorganization of the shipyard with the aim of securing its long-term success, FSG has been in negotiations with customers and suppliers since the beginning of the year.

    Tothis end, several measures have been implemented in order to successfully achieve this target.

    The RoPax ferry for Brittany Ferries is in the process of intensive outfitting. For optimal progresstobe obtained on this project it was necessary to postpone the start of production of our newbuilding no. 781, the eighth RoRo vessel for SIEM.
    This has led to a partial and temporary underemployment in one part of the production. Forthis reason, the Company’s management and Werks Council have agreed to apply to
    the Labour Employment Agency for short-time work in this area.

    The application has already been submitted.

    The effects on the affected area are being kept to a minimum. The majority of the affected employees will be able to bridge this period either by reducing overtime hours previously worked or will be temporarily employed in other areas of production.

  19. 2 hours ago, hf_uk said:

    Is that the vessel / route this second Irish newbuild be replacing do you know Chris?

    I presume I.F are out of Roscoff for good now though?

    Hull 777 Is due to partner Ulysses on the Dublin-Holyhead route. The 2nd ship is massive and will be the largest RoPax in terms of lane metres in the world.

  20. 6 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

    Had them on MSM on Friday a vast improvement on the tough triangles, also noticed they had gluten free rolls but according to the Mrs they were as hard as rocks, she didn’t have one they are individuals wrapped so no cross contamination.

    My missus has coeliac so always asks for the rolls, they tend to take around 5-10 mins to arrive after being nuked in their packets.

  21. 23 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

    BF couldn’t afford the money in fuel to run  either of them at top speed , Cap also has the longest in terms of time crossing to Spain so speed can’t be all that important to BF.

    Speed was the major selling point in BF offering their 23/24 hr sailings to Spain. BF's problem is that Pont Aven isn't really built for speed, never was.

    She's relocated to Plymouth, which has required a major logistics exercise and loss of money, as on 3 engines she's supposedly too slow for Portsmouth... 3 engines and still over 42000 horse power and she can't manage 24kts or even 22kts if one of her advertised cruising speeds are to be believed? Push her and she'll break something else, me I'd only sail her at 18kts and only 22 - 24 on all 4 engines.

    As a comparison Tirrenia's Sharden manages 24kts on two of her 4 engines every night and combined these two can only produce a max of 35000 hp. She's of equal age, 30 m longer and can carry a lot more HGV's but more importantly she's 4 metres narrower.

    Crucially her width has a lot to do with it, it's why as @hf_uk points out CF is cheaper, Pont Aven is too short & fat at nearly 185m x 32m, she has the speed but isn't built for it.


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