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TonyMWeaver

Bretagne - 30 Years

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Sometime in July she entered service? I seem to remember the date being an access code on board before up to date security required regular changes.

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24 minutes ago, Drake said:

Beautiful girl!  Proud to share my birthday with her, well, mine's tomorrow but near enough! 

 

Happy Birthday for tomorrow.

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I remember a few scary Spanish crossings on her with corridors disappearing under my feet as she dropped down a huge wave to my knees knocking my nostrils as she climbed the next one. Huge amounts of green water over her bow filling the fo'c'sle then pouring from her gunwales, she never missed a beat.

She was in her element out in the Bay, a truly fine ship and in her heyday one of the best.

Happy birthday Betty Anne... 

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8 hours ago, jonno said:

I remember a few scary Spanish crossings on her with corridors disappearing under my feet as she dropped down a huge wave to my knees knocking my nostrils as she climbed the next one. Huge amounts of green water over her bow filling the fo'c'sle then pouring from her gunwales, she never missed a beat.

She was in her element out in the Bay, a truly fine ship and in her heyday one of the best.

Happy birthday Betty Anne... 

I can imagine was on a similar crossing on Pont Aven.E5968B29-85B1-4357-9F07-1D184F3CCDE8.thumb.jpeg.be29660160cf362d4aa03c790555f080.jpeg

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On 04/02/2019 at 20:08, Seashore said:

She certainly looked less dumpy with the Z-stripes, wrapped around and go faster dashed stripes at the stern.

 

Out of interest, why is she so dumpy looking? Was there a limitation on her length?

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She wasn't and didn't look dumpy for 1989 compared to other ferries. A number of things have changed, including safety and stability regulations following disasters, and the growth of the Ropax concept. Safety regs also dictate having some "outdoor" vehicle space for hazardous loads. Terminal facilities have developed too, allowing longer vessels.

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Yes, her sponsons will be adding to the impression of dumpiness.  As Colin says, there was no consideration of “restricting her length” for any particular purpose when built - at the time, she was longer than anything else around in the Channel and so represented the setting of new standards.

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19 minutes ago, colin said:

She wasn't and didn't look dumpy for 1989 compared to other ferries. A number of things have changed, including safety and stability regulations following disasters, and the growth of the Ropax concept. Safety regs also dictate having some "outdoor" vehicle space for hazardous loads. Terminal facilities have developed too, allowing longer vessels.

I guess it's in the eye of the beholder, she's always looked a little short to me. I was comparing her to the likes of Pride of Bruges / York, the Olau twins and most of the Baltic cruise ferries of that era

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11 hours ago, Gareth said:

Yes, her sponsons will be adding to the impression of dumpiness.  As Colin says, there was no consideration of “restricting her length” for any particular purpose when built - at the time, she was longer than anything else around in the Channel and so represented the setting of new standards.

According to a Klas Brogren interview with Christian Michielini from 1990, discussing the Bretagne's late delivery (which was mostly due to the shipyard battle which preceded the order going to Chantier d'Atlantique and associated overpromising by yards on how long BF could delay placing the order whilst still getting a spring '89 delivery), "the delays were [also] caused partly by the problems to finalise the capacity mix desired, especially as the external maximum measurements of the vessel are restricted by port accessibility". This isn't explained further as far as I can see but accompanying aerial images of the ship in her four regular ports as they were at that time don't indicate great length restrictions although she would overhang the dolphins in Cork and the pier in Roscoff had she been too much longer.

Brogren's contemporary views on the new ship's exterior are interesting given the recent changes: "Although not as boxy-like as many other modern jumbo ferries, Bretagne cannot be described as belonging to the most beautiful group of ships. Somehow, there is an unbalance in the hull and superstructure lines. For one thing, the superstructure ends too far aft, which leaves the foreship proportionally too long. Also, we find the experiments with window decoration lines along the windows are somewhat overdone, as on the fore bulkhead where there are lines between the windows as well..."

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Not sure, but post 1994 after the Estonia sinking and the recommendations which came in a year later if I remember.

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Bretagne definitely looks a bit truncated, no two ways about it but external aesthetics disappeared from shipbuilding a long time ago.

With Bretagne I think it is a case of 'familiarity breeds affection' and she does look impressive from certain angles as the photos show.

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1 hour ago, colin said:

Not sure, but post 1994 after the Estonia sinking and the recommendations which came in a year later if I remember.

Ah yes, poor Estonia.  If only she'd had sponsons....they'd have been a great help, wouldn't they?! (Reminds me of that scene in Blackadder when Lt George declares he would not want to face a machine gun without his stick!) 😉

15 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Bretagne definitely looks a bit truncated, no two ways about it but external aesthetics disappeared from shipbuilding a long time ago.

With Bretagne I think it is a case of 'familiarity breeds affection' and she does look impressive from certain angles as the photos show.

Indeed.  Partly familiarity, and partly that we now have the comparison with the naval architecture that post-dated her.  It's all relative!  Bretagne v Armorique puts her in a rather better light aesthetically than, for example, Bretagne v Tor Britannia. 

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19 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Ah yes, poor Estonia.  If only she'd had sponsons....they'd have been a great help, wouldn't they?! (Reminds me of that scene in Blackadder when Lt George declares he would not want to face a machine gun without his stick!) 😉

Indeed.  Partly familiarity, and partly that we now have the comparison with the naval architecture that post-dated her.  It's all relative!  Bretagne v Armorique puts her in a rather better light aesthetically than, for example, Bretagne v Tor Britannia

I think I must be a weirdo as I really like how Amorique looks. Nothing wrong with Tor Brittania either though!

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I think that her window decoration set her apart, the stripes are/were a unique identifier.

She was designed as a floating hotel to carry passengers on a long sea route to Spain, an era when footies were accommodated just as much as those with vehicles, not for the constant quick turnarounds of vehicle heavy short sea busy timetables to France.

She was actually too long for Portsmouth and only started serving the port after the first of the concrete dolphins had been constructed for Normandie.

Superstructure too far aft? She's a cruise ferry.

Foreship too long? Atlantic bow...designed to increase lift by increasing her sheerline, it's why you walk uphill on her fo'c'sle she has more bow freeboard. You're supposed to increase the length of the fo'c'sle beyond the perpendicular.

Every ferry crossing the Bay of Biscay should have one or something similar rather than the snub nosed monstrosity someone had the audacity to weld onto the front of Pont Aven... an awful bow, historically it's no wonder her clamshells need attention especially on vessel with a 30+ metre beam which smashes through waves rather than ride them... Should have built her 200m and given her a decent bow.

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15 minutes ago, jonno said:

Every ferry crossing the Bay of Biscay should have one or something similar rather than the snub nosed monstrosity someone had the audacity to weld onto the front of Pont Aven... an awful bow, historically it's no wonder her clamshells need attention especially on vessel with a 30+ metre beam which smashes through waves rather than ride them... Should have built her 200m and given her a decent bow.

Perhaps stating the obvious here but is this why Cap Finistere (according to some) copes better with the Spanish routes than Pont-Aven? Despite being a second-hand purchase rather than a purpose-built flagship?

It's a source of some regret to me that I've never managed to sail to Spain on Bretagne, I doubt I will get the chance now but should a crossing appear in the timetable I'd jump at it.

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