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Double Deck Loading Ships

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This question stems from a point Gareth made in the Honfleur topic that I think warrants its own discussion - apologies if the following has already been talked about elsewhere. 

Of the ships that Brittany Ferries uses on double deck loading routes (Barfleur, Normandie, Mont St Michel and the prospective Honfleur), did Brittany Ferries specify when they were built to have an internal ramp (like that of Armorique) between decks so that they could potentially be used on single deck loading routes? Gareth said that Normandie has one that isn't suitable for regular use, but what about the rest? I stress (as I know that many like to read far too much into things on this forum) that I'm not implying that the ships are going to be used elsewhere or sold, and I do understand that the ships were specifically designed for their routes using double deck loading, but I'm just wondering whether BF desired the extra flexibility? And if these double deck loading ships do have an internal ramp, have they ever been used (even for a single trip) on a single deck loading route? 

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The internal ramps on the vessels named, or lift in the case of the Barfleur, are really there primarily as a back up to enable deck 5 and 6 to be discharged and loaded in case of failure of the upper deck linkspan but it does give them the flexibility to operate to their full potential on routes without a double deck linkspan and would add value to the vessel on the second hand market as a purchaser wouldn't have the expense of installing one themselves.

 

 

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Interesting comment but why does the cf not use her double deck for loading and offloading for at Portsmouth?it would make a big improvement for everyone if they did.

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25 minutes ago, nodwad said:

Interesting comment but why does the cf not use her double deck for loading and offloading for at Portsmouth?it would make a big improvement for everyone if they did.

That's a very good question, nodwad.  As far as the Sunday evening call, the answer is easy - she docks at Berth 2 (3 and 4 are occupied by Etretat and Bretagne/MSM) and so twin-level loading is not available.  But her Wednesday and Friday calls are on berths 4 and 3, respectively, which means that she could theoretically load on both levels.  I'd be very interested to know why that facility is not used. 

I suppose (just thinking on my feet) it could be something to do with how the vehicles would be arranged on the upper deck?  (Vehicles loaded via the internal ramp would naturally line up on deck in a different way to vehicles loaded  over the stern, and given that they would have to unload via the ramp at the Spanish end, would loading over the stern leave them appropriately arranged for disembarkation?).  Sounds a bit thin.  But apart from either (a) they haven't configured a loading plan for twin-loading or (b) the linkspans at Portsmouth do not fit the upper deck of CF, I can't offhand think of any other explanation.  Would be interested to know the answer.

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2 hours ago, Gareth said:

That's a very good question, nodwad.  As far as the Sunday evening call, the answer is easy - she docks at Berth 2 (3 and 4 are occupied by Etretat and Bretagne/MSM) and so twin-level loading is not available.  But her Wednesday and Friday calls are on berths 4 and 3, respectively, which means that she could theoretically load on both levels.  I'd be very interested to know why that facility is not used. 

I suppose (just thinking on my feet) it could be something to do with how the vehicles would be arranged on the upper deck?  (Vehicles loaded via the internal ramp would naturally line up on deck in a different way to vehicles loaded  over the stern, and given that they would have to unload via the ramp at the Spanish end, would loading over the stern leave them appropriately arranged for disembarkation?).  Sounds a bit thin.  But apart from either (a) they haven't configured a loading plan for twin-loading or (b) the linkspans at Portsmouth do not fit the upper deck of CF, I can't offhand think of any other explanation.  Would be interested to know the answer.

Thank you.i was thinking also the link span does not fit the cap.i know Portsmouth to bilbao could not happen but loading up from bilbao could male it a lot easier at Portsmouth .somebody in the know might tell us.

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I suspect the only persons who could answer for sure the Cap Finistere question is a Cap Finistere Officer or a Portsmouth Port employee!

An educated guess would be that due to her design of stern ramp and the way it needs to sit on the linkspan the upper deck fingers at Portsmouth may just be out of reach. The upper deck linkspan can move forward and back but only so far.  Have a look on the quay for her stopping mark near the linkspan, the one in Santander is further ahead than the Pont-Aven and Etretat ones. Last time I went on her the arrangement of mooring lines was crossing the vehicle deck which would also be a hindrance and they'd lose the flexibility of using the outboard winches and end up having ropes on bits and drum ends to make up for it.

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That’s a good point, Timmy.  The stern winches needing to have mooring lines crossing the loading route sounds like a bit of a design flaw to me.

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I have three questions.

Did the Superfast's twin load in the Med? From what I can remember the ferries tend to just drop the ramp on the quayside as there's basically no tide?

If there is an underlying design flaw It would be interesting to find out what Stena do with their three as I imagine twin loading was a reason for buying them?

Neither Santander nor Zierbena have a twin linkspan so would there be any real advantage to be had loading on two levels at Portsmouth?

 

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I could see it working Ok if they loaded the cap at santander or bilbao ie load top deck then bottom decks and then use the link span at Portsmouth to off load .i think sombody has said the linkspan might not fit and that may be the reason they don't do it..

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1 minute ago, nodwad said:

I could see it working Ok if they loaded the cap at santander or bilbao ie load top deck then bottom decks and then use the link span at Portsmouth to off load .i think sombody has said the linkspan might not fit and that may be the reason they don't do it..

The Cap' is long and narrow, a bit like the Lusitania and Mauritania, built for speed. She lacks the width of BF's other twin loaders, she's nearly 3 metres narrower than MSM and over 2 metres narrower than the E flexers.

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47 minutes ago, jonno said:

I have three questions.

Did the Superfast's twin load in the Med? From what I can remember the ferries tend to just drop the ramp on the quayside as there's basically no tide? 

If there is an underlying design flaw It would be interesting to find out what Stena do with their three as I imagine twin loading was a reason for buying them? 

Neither Santander nor Zierbena have a twin linkspan so would there be any real advantage to be had loading on two levels at Portsmouth? 

 

The Greek ones never had the shore facilities to double deck load in Mediterranean service (although these were at one time promised in Patras) and rarely if ever did anything other than stern only load.

All four of the Baltic Superfasts including the three now with Stena have used double deck loading for most of their operators - Superfast and Tallink, Marine Atlantic, Stena, Seafrance, DFDS  e.g. -

Stena had to fix the forward access height on the Cairnryan pair after they increased the free height of the upper vehicle deck but as built it was presumably fine.

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