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giloine

Barfleur lengthening ?

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Hello. this subject may have already been discussed, but concerning the lengthening of the barfleur, according to different sources, the barfy has been lengthened by 9 meters and according to others by 7.20 meters.
Does anyone have the truth?

A strange thing : in 1991, when i was travelling on the trégastel, there was à model of barfy on board and the légend was : lenght 151 m ( or 150 but not  14x m... Shure !) and 18000 grt ??  (It was a model of the former design)

.... Strange

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2 minutes ago, richwarwicker said:

She was lengthened by 19 metres during construction. 

19 mètres. ? Are You Shure ?? I have allways read 7.2 or 9.... 19 seems a lot to me.

nobody have à good source ?

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Someone who is an occasional poster here and is from Poole is interested in photos of her before she was lengthened, not sure if any exist, if so they are probably not in the public domain.  I would love to see her original appearance.

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2 hours ago, giloine said:

19 mètres. ? Are You Shure ?? I have allways read 7.2 or 9.... 19 seems a lot to me.

nobody have à good source ?

The mv Barfleur Wikipedia page was where I read it some time back. Probably should have verified it! I’ve just checked and it still says 19m. 

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1 hour ago, neilcvx said:

You would be best contacting the author of the blog Brigette  I’m sure Chris would help if he can.

Do you mean me Neil?

Blowed if I knows......o.O

Anyway, typical Wikipedia shows 7.2metres on the French site as well as other rubbish about stability problems, 19 metres on the UK link.

It was definitely 9 metres, however I have a sneaky feeling the extra section had an impact on her ability to manoeuvre in strong cross winds (much discussed in the sailing updates thread). From memory she had her bow thrusters upgraded in the early 2000's but that obviously wasn't enough, unless the conspiracy theories about cancelling crossings due to lack of bookings have a grain of truth.

Chris

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The person I am talking about on here is a BF employee too, he has been looking ages.

Edited by Khaines

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This topic has been discussed before on this website and it was decided the lengthening was to deal with deadweight issues.  But no official explanation was ever given.  I suppose they didn't want to acknowledge they'd got things a bit wrong.

I doubt if the very modest lengthening would have had any effect on Barfleur's ability to manoeuvre.  If there are such problems -- and it seems there could be -- they are of much more recent origin, maybe connected with the age of the vessel.

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Thanks for your replies.

Regarding the reason for the lengthening of Barfy, I do not know the reality .....
My uncle who worked at the Truckline told me at the time that they had to lengthen it because during the tests, the ship tended to lower her bow, he really tell me that, but is it really the case? do not know.
There is a difference between the crew version and the management.

Anyway, what I do not understand is that before the construction, I saw a reduced model of the barfy with as incription a length of 151 meters and a tonnage of 18000t.
If the barfleur had been lengthened by 9m, why not have indicated 148 or 149 m?
is it not because the 9m extension is more credible for an increase in capacity?

I think this mystery will remain ....... but in the end it's not very important.

PS : there is no picture of her build on the net..... i have one or two picture from 1991 in black and white of barfy in Helsinki (cut in a french newspaper but now in bad quality). I will try to post it here.;)

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Can't check now because I've long since binned them, but I'm fairly sure Ships Monthly referred to stability or dead weight issues as the reason for lengthening.

 

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I seem to recall hearing that the configuration of Barfleur's main vehicle deck wouldn't permit the stowage of the the number of freight vehicles they were hoping to convey.  The reason for this was the vessel was more streamlined than the more boxy shape characteristic of roro ships.  Hence the modest lengthening to give the intake they were hoping for.

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

Yes, I'm sure there are elements to truth in both aspects Chris.  Having gone aground it is very likely that there would be damage to the propulsion system.  With what we now know I would be very surprised if there were not water ingress to the engine room - either from a hull breach, or through the prop shaft seals, or both.  We'll see.

Of course we always start to speculate when this sort of thing happens, and that is part of the fun of being able to share ideas on a forum like this.  And what I am starting to wonder now is, do the origins of this incident lie all the way back as far as the Darwin conversions?  It is often the case in conversions like this that ships can be left rather under-powered.  When originally constructed, the Highway and Pathway were built as freighters with very little by way of superstructure.  And their propulsion systems, including bow thrusters, were designed to cope with that configuration.  When the ships were converted to become Kent and Canterbury, by plonking huge additional superstructure on top, were the bow thrusters upgraded to cope with the extra windage, or were they left in their original design configuration?  If the latter, do the roots of this whole incident lie with the ship having under-powered bow thrusters following their conversions?  If so then that is something that would come out in the report as well.

And on the subject of reports.....it's funny, only last week I was thinking that we have had a relative lack of reports into ferry-related accidents recently.

And on your second point Gareth, despite our friends in Poole thinking there is some conspiracy theory every time the vessel beginning with a B is cancelled, my guess is when they added the extra 9 metre section before she even entered service it could have left her underpowered in relation to her main engines, bow thrusters or both.

Now I’ll duck below the parapet and run like hell....:ph34r:

Chris

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 Barfleur came into service in 1992 and there has been no mention of any problems until relatively recently.  I doubt if the modest lengthening before delivery has got anything to do with it.  My suspicion is that the main engines are of a type for which a complete range of spares is no longer available off the shelf.  Thus as with road vehicles, particularly classic vehicles, in the event of a major failure it will be a case of having the part specially made doubtless at great cost or of locating a used bit.  Thus such a major failure could result in the end of Barfleur's service life if the cost of making the replacement part is too much or if a S/H part can't be located.  Thus BF avoid belting the engines as far as they can as a major breakdown would have obvious implications for the Poole-Cherbourg service especially as my guess is they would like to keep it going for as long as they can with the present vessel.  Of course had Barfleur been lengthened by 30m or more things might be different!

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For my part, I have knowledge of stability issues while Barfy was still under construction. My uncle who worked at the "Truck" had told me that they had to add a section because the front of the ship tended to sink during sea trials.
I repeat: these are their own terms and nothing certain. But why would he tell me that?
It will remain a mystery!
 

Edited by giloine

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2 hours ago, giloine said:

For my part, I have knowledge of stability issues while Barfy was still under construction. My uncle who worked at the "Truck" had told me that they had to add a section because the front of the ship tended to sink during sea trials.
I repeat: these are their own terms and nothing certain. But why would he tell me that?
It will remain a mystery!
 

Hi Giloine,

The story may well remain a mystery and I don’t want to contradict your uncle because I wouldn’t be able to confirm or deny his view. I’m sure you must have read the blog on her conception, construction and delivery; this is part 2 of 3 and I draw your attention to the following paragraph from the  “official” version.

http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/article/41050/The-Challenge-of-Barfleur

By mid-December, work had almost finished and it was time to put the ship through her paces on her sea trials to test the systems and make sure everything was in accordance with the contract. "I have wonderful memories of those first few times we took Barfleur to sea," Lenoir remembers. "She was stable, the engines worked like a dream; all the systems worked perfectly."

What is also interesting is the design was capable of receiving an extra 3 x 9 metre sections although they opted for just one in the end. I met Captain Lenoir on the bridge many years ago; he was ultra professional, dedicated, lived and breathed “Barfleur” and I can’t see him making up a story that contradicts the company line.

So I still believe the extra section could affect her manoeuvrability in exceptionally strong winds, and when you realise she often has only 1 metre of water below her keel when executing a tight turn at Poole Harbour entrance, it’s not surprising she is cancelled more often than other vessels,  considering the ecological importance of Brownsea Island. If the Pride of Kent can get it quite so wrong when caught by a strong gust then so potentially can Barfleur.

I agree with HT that parts may be difficult to find in case of mechanical failure but I would imagine that applies equally to Normandie and she’s still thrashing across as fast as she can and in all weathers.

Chris

 

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1 hour ago, Fine Whine said:

Hi Giloine,

The story may well remain a mystery and I don’t want to contradict your uncle because I wouldn’t be able to confirm or deny his view. I’m sure you must have read the blog on her conception, construction and delivery; this is part 2 of 3 and I draw your attention to the following paragraph from the  “official” version.

http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/article/41050/The-Challenge-of-Barfleur

By mid-December, work had almost finished and it was time to put the ship through her paces on her sea trials to test the systems and make sure everything was in accordance with the contract. "I have wonderful memories of those first few times we took Barfleur to sea," Lenoir remembers. "She was stable, the engines worked like a dream; all the systems worked perfectly."

What is also interesting is the design was capable of receiving an extra 3 x 9 metre sections although they opted for just one in the end. I met Captain Lenoir on the bridge many years ago; he was ultra professional, dedicated, lived and breathed “Barfleur” and I can’t see him making up a story that contradicts the company line.

So I still believe the extra section could affect her manoeuvrability in exceptionally strong winds, and when you realise she often has only 1 metre of water below her keel when executing a tight turn at Poole Harbour entrance, it’s not surprising she is cancelled more often than other vessels,  considering the ecological importance of Brownsea Island. If the Pride of Kent can get it quite so wrong when caught by a strong gust then so potentially can Barfleur.

I agree with HT that parts may be difficult to find in case of mechanical failure but I would imagine that applies equally to Normandie and she’s still thrashing across as fast as she can and in all weathers.

Chris

 

I suppose you need to know a bit about internal combustion engines to understand the position re Barfleur's mains.  Yes, this vessel and her near sistership, Normandie, have the same type of Wartsila engine.  The difference between the two is that Normandie has four of the twelve cylindered (?) version of this engine in vee configuration while Barfleur has four of the inline eight cylindered version of the same type of engine.  Obviously this makes the propulsive installation of Normandie more powerful than that of Barfleur being the larger vessel.  As I understand the position the non-availability of spares relates to parts specific to the in line eight cylinder version of the engine because it was supplied in far fewer numbers than the V12.  That seems to be BF's problem with Barfleur.  The components in question are major parts such as the cylinder block, called the entablature in marine engines I believe.  If that goes, I.e. cracks, on Barfleur it could produce a situation where the vessel will be beyond economic repair.  This has happened before and BF got away with it by using a S/H engine from a power station in Portugal remanufactured to marine specifications.  BF may not be so lucky a second time.

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2 hours ago, Hawser Trunnion said:

I suppose you need to know a bit about internal combustion engines to understand the position re Barfleur's mains.  Yes, this vessel and her near sistership, Normandie, have the same type of Wartsila engine.  The difference between the two is that Normandie has four of the twelve cylindered (?) version of this engine in vee configuration while Barfleur has four of the inline eight cylindered version of the same type of engine.  Obviously this makes the propulsive installation of Normandie more powerful than that of Barfleur being the larger vessel.  As I understand the position the non-availability of spares relates to parts specific to the in line eight cylinder version of the engine because it was supplied in far fewer numbers than the V12.  That seems to be BF's problem with Barfleur.  The components in question are major parts such as the cylinder block, called the entablature in marine engines I believe.  If that goes, I.e. cracks, on Barfleur it could produce a situation where the vessel will be beyond economic repair.  This has happened before and BF got away with it by using a S/H engine from a power station in Portugal remanufactured to marine specifications.  BF may not be so lucky a second time.

 I'm not so sure HT.... Simplex Turbulo supply all the spare parts for all of Wartsila Vasa derivatives. BF or any other carrier have no problem sourcing them. There is also O.M.N based just north of San Marino who fabricate everything from bolts to cylinder heads.

My gut tells me Barfleur's issue at Poole is strong winds which have steadily increased in strength and frequency over the past 5 years. The berth is very exposed and for me her 12000 KW are more than enough power, she's not exactly heavy, probably less than 5500 tonnes deadweight.

Edited by jonno

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The strong winds have blown her onto the fenders pretty hard on occasion recently, but usually she manages to cope ok.  Libby being the delicate little flower that she is, is usually the one who is on the receiving end.  

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An under-keel clearance of 1m is a fairly typical criterion used by ships for piloting in and out of harbour, so I don’t think that’s a particularly big deal.  But I agree with Jonno, Barfleur’s issues at Poole are almost certainly to do with wind.  The Hamworthy terminal is quite exposed to SW games blowing across the wide expanse of the harbour.  She obviously struggles with some sort of lack of power in her thrusters; what that was caused by and how recent it is is the question mark.  It is also unclear why BF does not just use tug support when necessary.

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My account came from a senior BF executive.

I'm not saying spares can't be specially manufactured.  It's the cost of same that's the problem.  Imagine what's involved in recasting a cracked entablature.  I presume it means removing the unit from the ship, detaching all accessories from the engine, cutting up the entablature and melting down the pieces to ensure the metal is the same and then pouring the molten metal into a mould.  And where does the mould come from?  Doubtless has to be specially made.  Then the engine has to be reassembled, essentially remanufactured, and reinstalled in the ship.   And how much will all this cost?  An arm and a leg I daresay.  Maybe BF should have thought about re-engining the ship when no more than, say, twenty years old.  I doubt if it's worth it now -- like having non-available major engine components specially made.

Strong winds are always a problem for manoeuvring ships.  I recall in far off Townsend Thoresen days ferries being unable to leave their Southampton berth for this reason.

Frankly I don't buy this idea that the wind has become more of a problem at Poole.  Larger ships than Barfleur have berthed there.  But trying to avoid repeating myself I believe this particular vessel may be trying to avoid gunning its engines for the reasons given.

At the risk of stating something that could go into another thread and Forum, with the upcoming PHC Open Meeting in a month's time this business about the winds is something the Poole Harbour Master could be asked about.  He is also a Harbour pilot so ought to know what he's talking about.  One hopes he would be frank and forthcoming.

Edited by Hawser Trunnion
Clarification

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