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6 minutes ago, penguin said:

At least that's one hurdle down!

I guess that depends on what they find. And how often thereafter it needs to happen again. Ed. 

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

I guess that depends on what they find. And how often thereafter it needs to happen again. Ed. 

It’ll just be sand Ed.  And it will have to be redone regularly (several times a year).

Ramsgate silts very quickly, and the ferryport has always needed regular dredging to keep it operational.  Regular dredging stopped after TEF pulled out, and what they are having to deal with now is the best part of 5 years of build-up of silt since then.

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There is a Dutch registered dredger in Ramsgate harbour as we speak though which appears to be there to work as it's restricted manoeuvrability...

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More interesting news re Seaborne from Channel 4 News

Full story

Meanwhile I understand that one of the big transport companies with operations on both sides of the North Sea / Channel spent a couple of months investigating the possible charter of a couple of RoRo ships and negotiating port capacity.

  • SHIPS: vessel / manning to MCA and customer requirements;  ample freight capacity plus linkspan compatibility with multiple ports.
  • PORTS: marine and road access, security, linkspan capacity, ample hardstanding with covered examination space

CONCLUSION 1: Providing port capacity "could be achieved with limited capital investment". Ship capacity would be

CONCLUSION 2: Securing ship capacity "would be challenging within Brexit timetabling given limited availability of vessels and manpower" and "could well involve some co-investment".

[Note This is an extract from a business report, not a detailed spec. I assume that "co-investment" implies the operator having to fund some mods to the vessel.]

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I might be missing something here, but someone might be able to say what I’m missing:

If Dover is going to turn into a complete bottleneck (potentially) if no deal...

A backlog in Calais could be mitigated by using the linkspans from Boulogne, Dunkerque, Ostend and Zeebrugge...

...then why can’t the existing capacity that is creating the bottleneck be diverted to another port? If there were already ship capacity issues then surely P&O and DFDS would have already put on more ships, traffic volumes aren’t likely to jump up because of Brexit.

European Seaway used Ramsgate when it was on wind farm charter. Prides of Kent, Burgundy and Canterbury have identical hulls to European Seaway. Calais Seaways used to run from Ramsgate first as Prins Filip then as Ostend Spirit.

Have I missed something there?

I wouldn’t expect HM Government to work that out, they’ve made a meal of it already (pun intended!).

 

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In principle a lot of that is good thinking.  Some technicalities - Ostend and Zeebrugge are more than twice the sailing time away as Calais, so the same frequency of sailings could not be achieved with the same tonnage.  Zeebrugge no longer has linkspans that are suitable for a Dover shuttle operation like the one TT used to operate (too few available and not configured for Dover ships).  Only the two TEF linkspans are still there at Ostend, and I’m not sure what state of repair they are in.  Boulogne now has one linkspan, hardly used.  The DFDS linkspan at Dunkerque Ouest is in pretty much constant use by the DFDS Dover operation.  I don’t know whether the other linkspan there is still operational.

Clearly most of those technicalities could be overcome with time and investment.  But only the smaller Calais ships would fit into Boulogne, Ostend and Ramsgate.  The P&O Spirits and the ex-SeaFrance twins are pretty much confined to Dover and Calais, although with modification could probably fit one of the berths at Zeebrugge.

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Coming from the other side of the country I'd like to know the real situation at Ramsgate, there appears to be a lot of people fighting the reintroduction of any ferries and whenever one of them say something it is grabbed by the press.  What is the truth is there a prospect of Ramsgate reopening at any time in the future, with or without this contract, or is it all Pie in the Sky?  I get the feeling this contract was drawn up by some civil servant when the Minister said we need capacity away from Dover, they will have looked at the ports and seen that Ramsgate is not being used and there's a company ready to get it going and not really looked any deeper.

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5 minutes ago, Solo said:

Coming from the other side of the country I'd like to know the real situation at Ramsgate, there appears to be a lot of people fighting the reintroduction of any ferries and whenever one of them say something it is grabbed by the press.  What is the truth is there a prospect of Ramsgate reopening at any time in the future, with or without this contract, or is it all Pie in the Sky?  I get the feeling this contract was drawn up by some civil servant when the Minister said we need capacity away from Dover, they will have looked at the ports and seen that Ramsgate is not being used and there's a company ready to get it going and not really looked any deeper.

Sounds about right for the standard of the Civil Service these days. Most give the impression they could`nt find their arse with both hands and a map, let alone Ramsgate 🤬

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My guess is that politics came into these decisions. Ministers would have thought it would be embarrassing if the contracts were given entirely to non-UK operators, French and Danish. Hardly looks like ‘taking back control’. They would have been desperate to find some UK operator -any UK operator - to participate. But of course the fact that Seaborne looks such an implausible operator has actually caused them more embarrassment than ever.

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On 03/01/2019 at 20:42, Tumnus2010 said:

There is a Dutch registered dredger in Ramsgate harbour as we speak though which appears to be there to work as it's restricted manoeuvrability...

A Dutch-registered dredger eh, no doubt one from the Van Oord fleet. Another example of Brexit at its best ;)

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Nothing to do with Brexit - Ramsgate (as well as Harwich Haven and the Thames estuary) has been using Dutch dredgers for decades.  There are two or three vessels that are almost always to be seen somewhere on the East Coast.  The whole area (English and Dutch/Belgian side needs pretty much constant dredging.

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6 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Nothing to do with Brexit - Ramsgate (as well as Harwich Haven and the Thames estuary) has been using Dutch dredgers for decades.  There are two or three vessels that are almost always to be seen somewhere on the East Coast.  The whole area (English and Dutch/Belgian side needs pretty much constant dredging.

I'm aware of that, I just thought it was a good metaphor none the less ;)

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6 hours ago, Aiden said:

It would be nice to see a afternoon service from Portsmouth to le harve

If BF, do a 3 ship per day I'd go with the morning trip and spend the time I hope eating in a restaurant and having a nice rest unlike how things are on the Tat. ;-))

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Slight aside:  Etretat is a lovely destination on the Normandy coast.  Hope it does not become forever tainted by the vessel currently carrying the name.  A pity, really, that they wasted this name, originally destined, like Honfleur, for one of the Olau twins, on a second-rate Vissentini. Maybe it would have been better if they had called Tat something like Harfleur, Tancarville or Estuary Sludge.

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7 hours ago, Gareth said:

Estuary Sludge

Watch it! If that sludge is in any way unique, and knowing the French they'll find something (probably it's ooziness or the typically Norman way it squelches), it'll be on a UNESCO protected list by the end of the week. Ed, 

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On 03/01/2019 at 20:42, Tumnus2010 said:

There is a Dutch registered dredger in Ramsgate harbour as we speak though which appears to be there to work as it's restricted manoeuvrability...

It is indeed one of the Van Ord fleet.  A bubble dredger.  My rudimentary understanding of the process is it blows bubbles into the sediment and the outgoing tide carries it away.  Somewhere. Theres no real control over where the sediment ends up like with a suction dredger.  What could possibly go wrong....

 

20 minutes ago, Khaines said:

Latest news, there are negotiations over Stena Galloway.

https://www.niferry.co.uk/brexit-seaborne-freight-linked-with-former-stena-galloway/

Even I'm taking this with a huge pinch of salt, and I wrote that article!  I just can't see the MCA giving the OK to a 39 year old vessel with very questionable mechanicals!

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The dredgers used in Harwich Haven tend to be suction dredgers.  They carry the sediment out to dumping grounds like the Galloper, Walker and Bawdsey sandbanks.  From there, of course, in time, it makes its way back in.

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3 hours ago, Gareth said:

The dredgers used in Harwich Haven tend to be suction dredgers.  They carry the sediment out to dumping grounds like the Galloper, Walker and Bawdsey sandbanks.  From there, of course, in time, it makes its way back in.

I believe suction dredgers are also what was used in the past at Ramsgate too.  But then they did previously own their own as well!  Obviously it needed done frequently enough to justify owning a dredger in the first place.  I read somewhere Van Ord are getting paid £14,000 a day

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