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BF Confirm Charter of 'E-Flexer' - Galcia & Salamanca

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3 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Chris - of the 5 ports that Pont Aven serves on her main summer roster, 4 of them are single-level loading.  Her schedule is not one that makes use of twin-level loading, so a ship with that facility would be a waste.  Bottom line is, when you are making passages of 24 hours, there is no need to turn around in a rush, and the schedules would not plan for it in any case.  So I see no need whatsoever for double-deck loading in Santander (or Cork, Plymouth or Roscoff).

I would agree with Santander... 

It is not a very practical layout for such a structure on the front there. And did they not just spend a whole load of money on the existing one?

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9 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

Firstly remember Neil that the eflexers will be twin level loading so I would imagine turnaround times could be considerably quicker than is currently the case. Pont Aven generally takes at least an hour to unload when busy, sometimes longer, especially when some old *@%! in the car at the front of the queue on deck 3 toddles down 15 minutes after the doors open....😡🤬👹 Which reminds me, isn’t Santander only a single deck linkspan? That’s going to need some investment before 2020 in a double decker facility.

Secondly a 1000 pax capacity means crew numbers should be well down compared to PA. I agree with everything said so far, there’s no reason why BF won’t fit them out to a high standard with larger cabins than PA, less of the tiny 2 berth insides, decent sized lounges, bar and relaxation areas, but where I disagree with Jonno is it’s imperative there is as large a restaurant as space allows offering either the full a la carte option, buffet or even tapas facility. There’s no better way of killing time enjoyably on a long crossing than by having a relaxed lunch or dinner with a few glasses of wine for good measure.

Chris

Chris I agree that a quality restaurant is important, discussing a theoretical new cruise ferry above I've suggested there could be more than one... They're not important to me personally particularly on the French routes but as I said to cvabishop on another thread, I'm in the minority. There's more of a chance finding me in one travelling to and from Spain as there is enough cabin time to recover from the food coma!

Colorlines inboard promenades with their pseudo sidewalk cafés & pizzeria are an example together with a buffet style and full a la carte. They're a bit wider than Pont Aven but I don't think the concept on a dedicated Spanish cruise ferry is unrealistic.

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8 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

an hour and a half to get off last August

That's pretty poor. I don't know which crossing you were on, but I assume Plymouth to Roscoff or vice versa. If it was the northbound, daytime trip then you spent the equivalent of half the crossing time just sitting in the ports. They do need to get the unloading sorted out as that's not really acceptable for such a premium service (except if the immigration checks were to blame which is obviously outside BF's control). I can see why the priority disembarkation idea is gaining support. Ed

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9 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

That's pretty poor. I don't know which crossing you were on, but I assume Plymouth to Roscoff or vice versa. If it was the northbound, daytime trip then you spent the equivalent of half the crossing time just sitting in the ports. They do need to get the unloading sorted out as that's not really acceptable for such a premium service (except if the immigration checks were to blame which is obviously outside BF's control). I can see why the priority disembarkation idea is gaining support. Ed

Roscoff to Plymouth Sunday morning a jam packed ship literally last of , very frustrating to put it mildly and passport control at Plymouth !!!  We were on the road by 1515 so 2 hours in total.

Edited by neilcvx

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35 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Chris - of the 5 ports that Pont Aven serves on her main summer roster, 4 of them are single-level loading.  Her schedule is not one that makes use of twin-level loading, so a ship with that facility would be a waste.  Bottom line is, when you are making passages of 24 hours, there is no need to turn around in a rush, and the schedules would not plan for it in any case.  So I see no need whatsoever for double-deck loading in Santander (or Cork, Plymouth or Roscoff).

Gareth my comment referred to the new ship. The photograph (in Stena colours) looks to me as though there are 2 drive through decks, ie twin loading. Unless there is an internal ramp then the e-flexer(s) will need a double link span - or am I missing something obvious?

Ed, it’s all very well complaining about time taken to disembark but when it’s from the bow on Pont Aven there’s just the one door, it’s not very wide and there is invariably someone late to their vehicle that slows everything down. In Santander last July I timed it as 75 minutes between the first and last vehicle coming off, and that was nowhere near a full load.

hf_uk, I heard that they were putting in an extra customs post and more dock space for cars in Plymouth this winter; any news on that one as something needs to be done urgently...

Chris

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3 hours ago, Fine Whine said:

I suggest a very big bag of salt might be in order! I’ve just downloaded the ship layout of Barfleur from the BF website to be sure (WiFi at snails pace on Normandie this afternoon...) and it mentions a crew of 92, but that’s when passenger capacity was at 1212. Now it’s reduced to just 450 during the winter months I doubt there are more than 60 crew on board. 

I thought Etretat was nearer 50 but I may be wrong.

Chris

Thanks, I did include a health warning as I was too lazy to look them up properly. However I believe that the point is valid as the Economie concept includes cut down facilities compared to the cruise ferries & I am sure that will make sense on some routes / circumstances, especially those that have a high percentage of freight as the people costs will be lower and the people are on French wages.  On premium or long routes it makes sense to go for the cruise concept, on shorter routes or trucking routes it may not.

That said I am happy for Portsmouth - Le Havre when I am asleep and Caen - Portsmouth when I am awake !

 

David

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12 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

Ed, it’s all very well complaining about time taken to disembark but when it’s from the bow on Pont Aven there’s just the one door, it’s not very wide and there is invariably someone late to their vehicle that slows everything down. In Santander last July I timed it as 75 minutes between the first and last vehicle coming off, and that was nowhere near a full load.

I know, it's poorly designed. I doubt there is anything they can do about it but I still maintain it's the weak point in an otherwise efficient service and would (and in the past has) put me in a bad mood for the ensuing journey south. Perhaps they need to ask drivers to hand in their keys at each stairwell and then given them out again on arrival so the crew can move any unclaimed vehicles. Ed. 

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3 hours ago, Solo said:

I'm sure that when this was originally said there was an option of BF having one of the second four as well, or did we think that the first BF one would be one of this second order?

I think Stena's option after this initial four is 2+2. They can sign up for E-Flexer V and E-Flexer VI without commiting to the final two. Viking have a similar arrangement with the Chinese yard building their new ship and have just exercised their right to cancel No2.

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Quite agree about the bad mood comment Ed,  nothing a man on a forklift shouldn’t be able to sort out though ....9_9

Chris

Edited by Fine Whine

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2 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

 

Quite agree about the bad mood comment Ed,  nothing a man on a forklift shouldn’t be able to sort out though ....9_9

Chris

I have seen I think it was on Pont l abbé a car being moved whilst it was empty by dockers or BF staff (was years ago obviously) not sure if they had left it empty or they followed Ed’s suggestion.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

Chris - of the 5 ports that Pont Aven serves on her main summer roster, 4 of them are single-level loading.  Her schedule is not one that makes use of twin-level loading, so a ship with that facility would be a waste.  Bottom line is, when you are making passages of 24 hours, there is no need to turn around in a rush, and the schedules would not plan for it in any case.  So I see no need whatsoever for double-deck loading in Santander (or Cork, Plymouth or Roscoff).

Having them able to load or unload through the bow will speed the process up compared to both Economie ships.

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1 hour ago, neilcvx said:

Yes was the stern doors.

Sorry Neil I didn't make myself clear enough. I was responding to Gareth's point regarding twin linkspans to speed up turnaround in Spain.

My thoughts were drawn to the Economie vessels as BDS will be the first ship replaced and both are stern loaders only.

Ah yes... Cap' Finistere can't use the twin loading in Pompey either due to a difference in height. She used to berth bow on in Santander although I don't know whether that's changed since the new linkspan was fitted, she's deffo stern on in Zierbena which can be an issue.

Does Pont Aven berth stern on in Roscoff hence the congestion issue at Plymouth?

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Jonno PA normally goes bow in at Roscoff, there is a picture of her stern in the early days but that's the only one I've seen.

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25 minutes ago, The Ferry Man said:

Whats the height issue with Cap? always wondered if she did unload over both decks in Portsmouth

There's a height restriction on her bow doors, for me it's the only reason I can think of as to why BF mentioned replacing her. I don't know if there's any technical reasons why she can't or doesn't berth bow on in Bilbao, maybe the upper vehicle deck inner access is at the stern only as there's the dedicated 2nd door on the fo'c'sle... but as I mentioned she used berth bow on in Santander.

She has a reasonably high freeboard (2325mm) so I assume her internal deck height isn't the issue?

As for BDS she takes an age to load. 

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On 02/02/2018 at 23:47, jonno said:

There's a height restriction on her bow doors, for me it's the only reason I can think of as to why BF mentioned replacing her. I don't know if there's any technical reasons why she can't or doesn't berth bow on in Bilbao, maybe the upper vehicle deck inner access is at the stern only as there's the dedicated 2nd door on the fo'c'sle... but as I mentioned she used berth bow on in Santander.

She has a reasonably high freeboard (2325mm) so I assume her internal deck height isn't the issue?

As for BDS she takes an age to load. 

Interesting, on the lower deck or upper?  I know VII-X had a height restriction on the upper deck forward, but that was because part of deck 6 was passenger space as built.  Afaik Atlantic Vision retains this, though all the Stena owned vessels don’t.

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1 hour ago, tarbyonline said:

Interesting, on the lower deck or upper?  I know VII-X had a height restriction on the upper deck forward, but that was because part of deck 6 was passenger space as built.  Afaik Atlantic Vision retains this, though all the Stena owned vessels don’t.

Wasn't the height issue because of larger UK-sized domestic supermarket trailers which were larger than the original build allowed for - hence they carved space out of the beams along the upper deck to facilitate and then had to mess around with the forward door area to permit exit on that level? That bit of raised flooring at the front of the forward bar conceals the work they had to do at that end. The accommodation they had on the upper trailer deck as built I think was just a module bolted on around the central casing and shouldn't have affected the ability of freight to get on or off.

Either way, as you say Cap Fin never had that accommodation or needs the extra height that the Cairnryan pair - I'd be interested/surprised if she had height issues with the forward door relative to the deck height as it was always Superfast's intention to run them in proper drive-through mode in the Adriatic (the ports of Ancona and Patras refused, and continue to refuse, to build linkspans to let them do this).

Edited by hhvferry

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2 hours ago, tarbyonline said:

Interesting, on the lower deck or upper?  I know VII-X had a height restriction on the upper deck forward, but that was because part of deck 6 was passenger space as built.  Afaik Atlantic Vision retains this, though all the Stena owned vessels don’t.

It's her upper vehicle deck, as hhv points out, it's due to the UK using larger trailers although it's a bit academic if a reciprocating port doesn't have a twin span...I still don't really understand why she docks stern on a Bilbao unless there is a width issue but in view of this she could load through the bow at Portsmouth surely?

She has no accomodation on deck 6, it's all on 7,8 & 9... Maybe if BF did add cabins forward on 6 it could free up space on a higher deck for a self service?

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It’s width Jonno.  Now that the Santander linkspan has been widened she berths stern-in at Santander too.  The bow entrance is just so narrow that they consider it preferable to operate her now as a stern loader at all ports.

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

It’s width Jonno.  Now that the Santander linkspan has been widened she berths stern-in at Santander too.  The bow entrance is just so narrow that they consider it preferable to operate her now as a stern loader at all ports.

She even manages it in Plymouth (stern first)... although the passenger ramp does not fit - only the two vehicle doors. Does the passenger gangway attach elsewhere when she is in Santander etc?

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1 hour ago, hf_uk said:

She even manages it in Plymouth (stern first)... although the passenger ramp does not fit - only the two vehicle doors. Does the passenger gangway attach elsewhere when she is in Santander etc?

I've not travelled on Cap' as a footie to Santander since 2010, then we all walked off/on through the bow and walked on/off at the stern in Portsmouth.

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