Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
sness

Platform thing at bow of Dover ferries

Recommended Posts

Just wondering what the platform things are there for at the bow of Dover ferries - something to do with the link spans at each port? If so, what is so different about the link spans in Dover and Calais from those elsewhere? It's only Dover ferries I've seen with these platform things.

 

Also, is there a correct name for them?

 

Thanks in advance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cow catchers. It's because the linkspan arrangements at the Dover Straits ports are the opposite of elsewhere - ramp lowered from shore onto ship rather than the other way round. It's a feature that has been a pain in the neck for ferries moving from Dover to elsewhere or vv for decades. Ships not designed for Dover moved to Dover have had to have cow catchers installed at the bow for the Calais ramp to rest on. And ships designed for Dover moved to elsewhere have had to have funny contraptions to act as ship-based ramps installed at the stern - eg on FE5 when she was based at Portsmouth.

 

If anyone in the know can shed any light on why the Dover arena does (and has always done for the last 50 years!) things differently from everywhere else I'd love to know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would you want to break it up? Bow design allows ship to displace water in a streamlined way, whereas breaking it up would just cause extra drag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the current generation of ships built specifically for the Dover services the platform is known as a spade, see P&O European Class and DFDS D class for examples of this arrangement.

 

Away from the Eastern Channel I believe the only UK route with a similar ramp set up is Cairnryan-Larne though the cowcatchers on European Highlander and Causeway are not for resting the ramp on they are for berth fit. Newhaven also has a Dover style linkspan but the Transmanche twins don't have a cow catcher as their bow ramp is self supporting.

Edited by Timmy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This configuration allows a much quicker berthing. As soon as the ship is in position, the fingers of the linkspans are lowered onto the cow catchers (or platform at the stern) and the doors opened. It virtually takes a couple of minutes. The upper linkspans in Ports, Caen, Cherbourg and Poole have the same configuration i.e fingers lowered on ship deck.

Edited by crechbleiz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why is t quicker? (Ie why does which way the ramp is lowered affect berthing speed?)

 

Sorry, the mooring of the ship is not quicker. But when it comes to link the berth to the ship, the Dover-Calais configuration is much quicker than the conventional configuration where for example the bow doors are opened and then the ramp deployed onto the linkspan (e.g. Arm in Plymouth).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Sorry, the mooring of the ship is not quicker. But when it comes to link the berth to the ship, the Dover-Calais configuration is much quicker than the conventional configuration where for example the bow doors are opened and then the ramp deployed onto the linkspan (e.g. Arm in Plymouth).

 

Still don't understand why which way the ramp lowers makes a difference to the speed - sorry, not being argumentative, just curious, I'd like to understand it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Still don't understand why which way the ramp lowers makes a difference to the speed - sorry, not being argumentative, just curious, I'd like to understand it!

 

In Dover and Calais the fingers at the end of the linkspans drop onto the ship deck within 10 seconds so vehicles can be unloaded as soon as the doors or gates are opened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...