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TonyMWeaver

Brittany Ferries Wants To Buy Condor Ferries

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58 minutes ago, Gareth said:

The shortest distance between Jersey and France is to the Portbail / Carteret area from the NE corner of the island.  Heading out east is also generally the shallowest water.  That would still require a tunnel about three quarters of the length of the Channel Tunnel though.  If the Chunnel was only marginally viable (and not even yet really profitable) linking a population of (then) 55 million people to mainland Europe, how could a tunnel of almost the same proportions be viable for an island of a hundred thousand?  I’d be staggered if that happened in my lifetime.

The Fehmarn tunnel illustrated in the newspaper is only to be 11 miles long. Denmark to Germany in 10 minutes by car and 7 minutes by train. It's using the so called cheaper techniques and costing just over 6 billion pounds... There's more chance of the Channel Islands getting two new purpose built deepwater ports.

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

I know the maximum length of any vessel in St Helier is about 130 metres but could sometime please remind me of the draught limits. And what are the length and draught limits for St Peter Port? I understand there is a difference. Thanks. Ed. 

Ed, Libby has a draft of 4.5 metres, Rapide is 3.5. The Clipper is a heady 5.8 metres and Goodwill just over 5.

For me both ports need expanding and modernising, they are too confined and tide restricted, if your berthing window is narrow that's just as critical to service provision as having appropriate tonnage. Expanding St Peter Port would be fairly straight forward although St Helier would be difficult in it's present location.

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Seems to say it all.  But if BF is successful, and does move Liberation to its Portsmouth-Cherbourg route (renamed) as I am predicting (where she could be successful) then it could be a win-win.  I agree she is a PR liability for the CI operation, and will always be, but that's because of the errors of management judgement in thinking that she could maintain the lifeline single-handed, not because of there being anything intrinsically wrong with the vessel.  BF acquiring Condor's services is probably the only serious prospect for a credible ferry service to the Islands to return.

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Article says what I have been saying loads of times, finding a modern ship of the right size is going to be a pig of a job,  Those who were after Barfleur, well small as she is, she is not small by any means when it comes to fitting in to the CI ports.  No way.  So you are looking smaller than her and more up to date.  Gonna be difficult.  

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14 hours ago, Khaines said:

Article says what I have been saying loads of times, finding a modern ship of the right size is going to be a pig of a job,  Those who were after Barfleur, well small as she is, she is not small by any means when it comes to fitting in to the CI ports.  No way.  So you are looking smaller than her and more up to date.  Gonna be difficult.  

For the past 20 years it's been a given that any new conventional ferry for the islands would have to be purpose built new and couldn't be bought second hand hence why the Clipper was comissioned. This is nothing new. Back in 1998 when the islands put the routes out to tender P&O submitted their tender with a redeveloped Pride of Bruges (at that time already 18 years old) and Hoverspeed the King Orry or Lady of Mann (all over 23 years old back then). All of these options would have not been sustainable in the long term and newbuilds would have been needed. 

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Yes, and the talk of building bigger harbours has also been going on for decades but never come to anything.  I remember St Sampson on Guernsey was the subject of a lot of excitement for a while.  But, really, the small harbours are part of the Islands’ charm.

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There's been very recent talk in Guernsey of building a berth capable of taking a ship up to 140 metres in length. This would be either on a new outer arm at St. Peter Port or Longue Hougue Reclamation site at St Sampsons. Problem is I'm not sure what Jersey are planning, if anything. 

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You can’t help but wonder whether Jersey missed a trick when they built the (then) new ferryport outside the main harbour at St Helier.  But the approach route up to the harbour is very tight so I suspect maybe their available solutions are not as apparent as they are on Guernsey.

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Yep and with Guernsey one of the main reasons we get tonnes more cruise ships visiting is because there are less rocks in proximity to the harbour meaning they can moor much closer. 

Prior to Jersey's new Elizabeth harbour been completed in 1988/89 it was billed of capable of taking the next generation of super ferry. For the period leading up to this BCIF had consistently said they needed a super ferry to make the island service more cost effective. MV Rozel was deemed as this super ferry. Of course things have now moved on. We now need a Rozel type ferry in terms of passenger facilities plus the freight capacity of Clipper to match. Result is we need a much bigger boat!!

To keep this tied in with the original thread title...can Brittany Ferries come to the rescue with a newbuild? 

Edited by Nick Hyde

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Jersey’s “best” solution (from a technical feasibility point of view) may be a completely new harbour up on the north coast.  Maybe in the Bouley Bay area?.  Fewer rocks (not no rocks, that is not possible, but fewer than around St Helier) and sheltered from the prevailing winds.  And quicker to get to from the north.  Complete pie in the sky from a finance point of view, probably, but technically the option that has the potential to solve the problem.

As long as the Jersey end is confined to St Helier I suspect the point of doing anything on Guernsey would be negated.

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22 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Jersey’s “best” solution (from a technical feasibility point of view) may be a completely new harbour up on the north coast.  Maybe in the Bouley Bay area?.  Fewer rocks (not no rocks, that is not possible, but fewer than around St Helier) and sheltered from the prevailing winds.  And quicker to get to from the north.  Complete pie in the sky from a finance point of view, probably, but technically the option that has the potential to solve the problem.

As long as the Jersey end is confined to St Helier I suspect the point of doing anything on Guernsey would be negated.

Problem though is that Bouley Bay is a major scenic beauty spot. Jersey will have to grasp the nettle so to speak and make major investment at St Helier, including blasting a whole batch of rocks away. St Helier would still be needed for ditect quick access to St Malo which is extremely busy and I am guessing a profitable passenger operation for Condor Ferries. 

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Yes I agree - the north coast idea wouldn’t remove St Helier from use but I suspect the St Malo link does not require larger ferries.

The investment at St Helier would need a more extensive breakwater, extending south of the current shelter provided by the structure at Elizabeth Castle, enclosing a larger harbour area.  Difficult to see where a new ferryport would go to be both accessible by larger ships and also suitably sheltered from prevailing conditions.

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Surely a smallish newbuild or decent used vessel (if one can be found) must be far cheaper than major harbour infrastructure development?

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Perhaps it go on the new island created by the spoils of the new Guernsey to Jersey to France tunnel!!! They seriously said a new airport could be built there. Of course all pie in the sky and with a tunnel we wouldn't need a new port!! I think if they ploughed hundreds of millions into a major land reclamation and new offshore port that might sort it.  Perhaps somewhere in St Aubins bay (off St Helier) accessed via a tunnel. 

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Nick are you suggesting the tunnel would be to England?!  The new port is needed for UK ships, not St Malo ships!

I agree a new purpose-built ship or two is a more viable solution.  And the islands will never really be big enough to warrant ships that do not fit the current infrastructure.  So the talk of new infrastructure is purely to enable purchase of second-hand tonnage and avoid new builds - which is surely a completely topsy turvy argument.

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Getting traffic up and down the hill to Bouley Bay would be  a challenge. St Catherine's Bay with its massive breakwater might be a better solution and the road to the rest of the island is a little better but unsuitable for trucks. I suppose the Rozel quarry site could also be developed but it's a long way from anywhere. Ed. 

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35 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Nick are you suggesting the tunnel would be to England?!  The new port is needed for UK ships, not St Malo ships!

I agree a new purpose-built ship or two is a more viable solution.  And the islands will never really be big enough to warrant ships that do not fit the current infrastructure.  So the talk of new infrastructure is purely to enable purchase of second-hand tonnage and avoid new builds - which is surely a completely topsy turvy argument.

Oh sorry Gareth what meant about the tunnel which would go to France only and not Britain, is that there was a fixed link to the continent I am guessing most freight and car traffic would be routed through that i.e. most of the traffic that goes through Portsmouth and Poole now. With traffic from the UK also being routed via the Chunnel to the new Channel Islands tunnel!!

That's of course if it ever happened which I hope it won't.

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Do we know when the outcome of the bidding process (for the sale of Condor) is set to be announced?

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