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Bf Bretagne

MSM (Portsmouth - Ouistreham) 22:45 12/07/19 coming back Bretagne (St-Malo - Portsmouth) 10:30 27/07/19

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11 hours ago, Paully said:

The point is that the loading officers are highly experienced mariners..unlike us motorists, the chief officers, hold a master mariners certificate. They are the ones responsible for  loading in whatever form, and at their professional descrection...But unlike motorists are answerable to a court of enquiry/law if anything goes wrong...If they err on the side of caution, then so be it...

  The motorists may not be used to dealing with professionals but they will be well used to you...

    As a former Mariner you might understand where I'm coming from

   

Totally agree, far too many people seem to be looking down on the port staff thinking they could do the job much better. It's all to easy to tell other people how to do their jobs, but I doubt many would appreciate being on the other side of it.

The ferry leaves at the same time regardless, maybe there are more important things to worry about!

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Should have added: the BF reply I had gave this piece of information:

Quote :The loading process does begin at the booking stage. For each sailing we are allocated a set amount of space for each vehicle type and each vehicle type is then allocated set dimensions. For example, a standard size car, is allocated a space on 5 meters in length and up to 1.83 meters in height. This strategy means that each vehicle booked onto a sailing should fit into the garage, whether its a car or a much larger freight vehicle . Unquote

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2 minutes ago, Cassie said:

Should have added: the BF reply I had gave this piece of information:

Quote :The loading process does begin at the booking stage. For each sailing we are allocated a set amount of space for each vehicle type and each vehicle type is then allocated set dimensions. For example, a standard size car, is allocated a space on 5 meters in length and up to 1.83 meters in height. This strategy means that each vehicle booked onto a sailing should fit into the garage, whether its a car or a much larger freight vehicle . Unquote

Exactly! It's down to length and height for each deck and lane. "What space have we got left here? Ok, give me a line of normal height cars without trailers or bike carriers."

It's a bit trickier on NEX and Condor Rapide etc due to the angles, curving ramps and changing heights. It's just as well they don't go on weight alone as Cabin Girl's shopping would put us down with the freight vehicles! 😉 Ed. 

 

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25 minutes ago, penguin said:

Totally agree, far too many people seem to be looking down on the port staff thinking they could do the job much better. It's all to easy to tell other people how to do their jobs, but I doubt many would appreciate being on the other side of it.

The ferry leaves at the same time regardless, maybe there are more important things to worry about!

Again, I think you have missed the point, penguin, certainly that I was making.  I have not argued that BF should take order of arrival into account when loading.  Nor have I argued that loading is not a complex matter.  My point was simply the fact that BF explains the former in terms of the latter when I am not sure that is necessarily the truth.  I believe purely that BF could take into account order of arrival of cars when loading cars, if they wanted to.  But there are good reasons not to, in terms of the time that would be involved and the fact that loading is already complex enough for other reasons (and so it is not desirable to add a voluntary but unnecessary level of complexity to what is already a complex process).  I would therefore prefer it if BF simply stated "we are unable to take order of arrival into account when loading the ship" rather than pretend that taking this car rather than that car is "due to the complexity of loading".  It isn't - it's purely because they do not have time to waste distinguishing between them.  I have no problem with the operational practice, just the way it is explained to customers.

 

 

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When all the variables, apart from weight and dimensions, are considered: pets both in cars, caravans and motorhomes) and the less mobile ( ditto) needing to be near the correct stairway for example, it amazes me that everyone gets on at all within the limited time available. 

Anyone who has done the Greek boats, both inter- island and from Italy, will know what random access means ! Survival of the fastest ? 

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2 hours ago, Solo said:

Yes Tony I think every one on here knows there's a plan on board but it's on the shore side, when the first queue of cars loads last and the last to arrive load before them.  I think this might be more to do with the marshals in the car lanes, they are asked for so many cars, high vans, low vans etc and seem to take from which ever lane takes thier fancy.

Exactly my point, the shore side staff do know hence why vehicles are directed to different lanes before boarding. This is done on the type or length of vehicle. Although on a smaller scale, I have seen how it's done on Wightlink. It caught my interest when I saw the 'Stena Britannica' episode on Mighty Ships.

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Have a look at loading rate and still water bending. Then hogging and sagging. They'll keep you out of mischief... or reaching for the Jack Daniels.

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We are booked on Pont Aven from Plymouth tonight  - the normal routine there is to pick us out to be searched whatever time we arrive,  and then the loaders do their "Let's see if his handbrake works" test. That means they wait till the mezzanine deck is full and direct us to park on the steep ramp until such time as they hoist us up. So it will allow a leisurely breakfast in the morning as from there we will surely be last off in  Roscoff . 

Edited by wortley
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Reading this thread somewhat bemusedly.  There seems to be some evidence that loading is often very ad-hoc - are these just the exceptions that people have happened to notice?  

We travel mostly on P&O North Sea and mostly with a caravan - so we know which deck we are going to be on. Time of arrival does very much so influence time of boarding but these boats have a very leisurely turn around.

My own guess is that with BF, it's not that the loading pattern is all that complex really but that they need to ensure that they have enough of the right spaces to load quickly and without gaps - due to the tighter turn arounds. That in itself brings complexity but of a different kind.

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On 01/08/2019 at 09:11, Gareth said:

Again, I think you have missed the point, penguin, certainly that I was making.  I have not argued that BF should take order of arrival into account when loading.  Nor have I argued that loading is not a complex matter.  My point was simply the fact that BF explains the former in terms of the latter when I am not sure that is necessarily the truth.  I believe purely that BF could take into account order of arrival of cars when loading cars, if they wanted to.  But there are good reasons not to, in terms of the time that would be involved and the fact that loading is already complex enough for other reasons (and so it is not desirable to add a voluntary but unnecessary level of complexity to what is already a complex process).  I would therefore prefer it if BF simply stated "we are unable to take order of arrival into account when loading the ship" rather than pretend that taking this car rather than that car is "due to the complexity of loading".  It isn't - it's purely because they do not have time to waste distinguishing between them.  I have no problem with the operational practice, just the way it is explained to customers.

 

 

Does it really matter? I suspect it's a little white lie to make their own lives easier dealing with difficult customers.

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2 hours ago, penguin said:

Does it really matter? I suspect it's a little white lie to make their own lives easier dealing with difficult customers.

Agreed.  On all counts - as I said it is not a big deal 😉.

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We deliberately arrived late last August for the PA Santander to Plymouth sailing and were at the back of the line. However when we went over the ramp there was a steward directing cars and luckily we were kept downhill and not up the ramp. But it was only luck as the car in front went up on the ramp. When we unloaded in Plymouth we were quickly off but with the delays of the customs office I don't think that it made much difference. My conclusion is that you shouldn't worry about what time to arrive at the port and just go with the flow, after all we are on holiday and not supposed to get stressed. We are looking forward to the Pont on Sunday and our annual trip to Spain wherever we are directed to park.

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What happens when every one realises that checking in early does not mean you'll be one of the first on and all turn up 45 minutes before departure.  Already some say about turning up late to avoid deck 5 on Bretagne, it would be chaos if everybody did that.

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15 minutes ago, Solo said:

What happens when every one realises that checking in early does not mean you'll be one of the first on and all turn up 45 minutes before departure.  Already some say about turning up late to avoid deck 5 on Bretagne, it would be chaos if everybody did that.

There's also the potential issue (I don't know how often this happens but it must do from time to time) of being so late to the queue that the ferry is full and there is no room for you.

On fully booked sailings, given that the loading plan is not pre-planned down to the very last car, I would imagine that on occasion the ship must become full to the point where nothing else can get on.  I am sure that at least once I have seen a solitary vehicle left on the dockside when the ship sails.  It is worth remembering that, if you arrive after the check-in time, BF is under no obligation to carry you.

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I think it's just pot luck really, last year we checked in almost first in Cork, first car in our line in the holding lane, and one of the last cars to board ! .. this year was exactly the same for check in yet we were one of the first half a dozen cars on ..... beats me.

Edited by Geezer

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One year we were the first on to PA and unquestionably the last off. Mainly because we had been parked in a corner and we were 'forgotten'. We drove around until we found a downward ramp and were greeted with surprised looks from the crew.

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On ‎03‎/‎08‎/‎2019 at 09:12, cvabishop said:

I think BF also have a 'standby' lane for people who just turn up on the off chance that space will be available.

I remember one year in Cork (standing at the back watching the loading) we were all loaded and the ramp was up when a fully laden car came racing into the check in area, lights flashing and horn blasting, maybe got a puncture or broke down en route to the docks, but there was no way he was boarding. I felt really sorry for them, more so because there is only one sailing per week.

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On 02/08/2019 at 22:57, Gareth said:

There's also the potential issue (I don't know how often this happens but it must do from time to time) of being so late to the queue that the ferry is full and there is no room for you.

On fully booked sailings, given that the loading plan is not pre-planned down to the very last car, I would imagine that on occasion the ship must become full to the point where nothing else can get on.  I am sure that at least once I have seen a solitary vehicle left on the dockside when the ship sails.  It is worth remembering that, if you arrive after the check-in time, BF is under no obligation to carry you.

It happened to I think eight or nine cars at StM on a 'last crossing before Christmas' some years ago and was reported on here. I don't think they were late - just last! With age my sense of chronology has deteriorated and I wouldn't like to guess how long ago - maybe eight or nine years but could be longer. 

Edited by Millsy

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On 01/08/2019 at 09:10, Cabin-boy said:

Exactly! It's down to length and height for each deck and lane. "What space have we got left here? Ok, give me a line of normal height cars without trailers or bike carriers."

It's a bit trickier on NEX and Condor Rapide etc due to the angles, curving ramps and changing heights. It's just as well they don't go on weight alone as Cabin Girl's shopping would put us down with the freight vehicles! 😉 Ed. 

 

A couple of years back, tried to book a Nissan Qashqai on the NEX about a week before travel, only to be told despite qualifying as a standard car it was too big. A Vauxhall Astra, however, was not an issue.

Somewhat of a surprise when in both directions the space we were allocated in would have easily accommodated the Qashqai - but, end of the day, there must be method in the madless.

It'll be even more fun now I've got a Jim-mobile that is up to the extremities of dimensions for a car.

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1 hour ago, Jim said:

It's a bit trickier on NEX and Condor Rapide etc due to the angles, curving ramps and changing heights.

It used to be good fun reversing this thing onboard.

WIN_20160219_14_39_39_Pro.thumb.jpg.272450bb9384f992dd97599d07fe19f6.jpg

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