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eagleeye

Wight light ..Wight sun

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This is a legacy of the three engine fires on the ‘W’ class. Apparently the ships will not run in winds stronger than 20 knots (gusts to 25 knots), presumably because that would involve the engines working harder, with an increased fire risk. Wightlink were reported as looking at technical fixes that would solve the problem, but appear not to have found any.

If the restriction is permanent, it will not do anything to improve the viability of the Yarmouth-Lymington route. I for one will not be using the route if my plans are liable to be upset by what is no more than a strong breeze, and in the windy periods of the year there will be more cancellations than crossings. Good news for Red Funnel.

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Big Investment in what seems to becoming a bit of a lame duck of a route. Could have spent more elsewhere but guess that's hindsight for you. Shame really as quite a quaint route and by far most relaxing.

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Was on Victoria so Wight today 9th August and got to go up to the bridge with a friends 11 year old. Very nice bridge while chatting to the staff I was informed that Wight sun and light are currently only running on 2 engines (that would explain the mid Solent hiccup last week) and can't be certain but sky is on 3 or 4 hence why it's the only one that can still work in more than a knats fart of a breeze.

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If they take the engines out of the light and put in the sun they got two boats ..which they might of done as the sun is running in these very high winds 😂 

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Travelled over on the 10th and back on the 17th, sadly I have to say that’s the last time I will be travelling via Lymington. Ferries are slow, uncomfortable and look awful already.... I was always a massive fan of the c class but these things are just too high and two narrow to cope in high winds, coupled with the fact they break down ( or burst into flames) it looks like a very poor investment and the route is suffering... it either needs new tonnage or it won’t be economically viable for much longer.

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I can't say I disagree. I was a regular on the western route in the days of the C-class but after about a year of the W-Class being in service I switched to Portsmouth-Fishbourne and have rarely gone back. Even before the latest issues the Lymington service was becoming quite poor, with a limited timetable and slow unreliable ferries with "basic" accomodation, to be polite.

The most frustrating thing about the W-Class (seemingly shared by several islanders I talk to) is they seem to have pleased nobody...the customer is disappointed in their reliability, speed and accomodation, the harbour users of Lymington (and possibly Yarmouth, I don't know anyone living there) are irritated by their dominating size, and Wightlink must be frustrated at their unreliability, poor weather performance and design issues. If Wight Light is out of use long-term at a mere ten years old, that really doesn't bode well. Perhaps it is even being cannibalised for parts for all we know. New tonnage seems highly unlikely given the current ships are not old, especially given the problematic introduction last time round.

I don't know what to make of Wightlink at the moment. The VoW is an excellent ship which I enjoy travelling on, and to be fair the Fishbourne route isn't bad all told. But the new cat service is much slower than it was (or should be) and the Western route seems to be imploding. It just strikes me that there were some very poor decisions taken in the late 2000s sadly.

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The design of the vessels could be award winning....or the worst design of a simple ro-ro for sheltered waters. Apart from looking huge but only taking 65 cars, the loading is so messy and time consuming. Maybe they need to leave Lymington and find another landing on the mainland and use the 3 vessels. Only been on them twice and they were not nice layout.

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4 hours ago, Pigeonrat said:

I can't say I disagree. I was a regular on the western route in the days of the C-class but after about a year of the W-Class being in service I switched to Portsmouth-Fishbourne and have rarely gone back. Even before the latest issues the Lymington service was becoming quite poor, with a limited timetable and slow unreliable ferries with "basic" accomodation, to be polite.

The most frustrating thing about the W-Class (seemingly shared by several islanders I talk to) is they seem to have pleased nobody...the customer is disappointed in their reliability, speed and accomodation, the harbour users of Lymington (and possibly Yarmouth, I don't know anyone living there) are irritated by their dominating size, and Wightlink must be frustrated at their unreliability, poor weather performance and design issues. If Wight Light is out of use long-term at a mere ten years old, that really doesn't bode well. Perhaps it is even being cannibalised for parts for all we know. New tonnage seems highly unlikely given the current ships are not old, especially given the problematic introduction last time round.

I don't know what to make of Wightlink at the moment. The VoW is an excellent ship which I enjoy travelling on, and to be fair the Fishbourne route isn't bad all told. But the new cat service is much slower than it was (or should be) and the Western route seems to be imploding. It just strikes me that there were some very poor decisions taken in the late 2000s sadly.

 

1 hour ago, adicat said:

The design of the vessels could be award winning....or the worst design of a simple ro-ro for sheltered waters. Apart from looking huge but only taking 65 cars, the loading is so messy and time consuming. Maybe they need to leave Lymington and find another landing on the mainland and use the 3 vessels. Only been on them twice and they were not nice layout.

Can I put in a word in defence of the cats. As a regular user of the successive cats over 25 years, I am not aware that the crossing time has changed much if at all. (Frequency and provision of late crossings is another matter). But the Wight Ryders are very well designed for the route and weather-related cancellations are now almost non-existent. They do have ongoing problems of mechanical reliability, though much less than when they were first introduced, and Wightlink seem to have abandoned any attempt to charter replacements when there is a problem. But when running they are by far the best vessels we have had.

It’s a nice idea to try to find a new landing to replace Lymington, but the reality is that there are no practical alternatives to the present ports, on either side of the Solent. That is why it is very difficult to see a third operator being able to enter the market and challenge the present duopoly of Wightlink and Red Funnel. Where new operators did succeed in entering markets, as with Norfolk Line (DFDS) at Dover or Western Ferries on the Clyde, fares came down. But that is not going to happen on the Solent.

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But when running they are by far the best vessels we have had.

Not quite, there were the Southsea, Brading and Shanklin... Definitely cruise ferries!

IMG_0001.jpg

 

Edited by cvabishop
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1 hour ago, Hermit said:

 

Can I put in a word in defence of the cats. As a regular user of the successive cats over 25 years, I am not aware that the crossing time has changed much if at all. (Frequency and provision of late crossings is another matter). But the Wight Ryders are very well designed for the route and weather-related cancellations are now almost non-existent. They do have ongoing problems of mechanical reliability, though much less than when they were first introduced, and Wightlink seem to have abandoned any attempt to charter replacements when there is a problem. But when running they are by far the best vessels we have had. 

Fair enough - I cheerfully stand corrected, I've only used the Wight Riders about half a dozen times so perhaps that's my mistake. I was just sure that they took comfortably over 20mins to do the crossing whereas the Tasmanian cats and the waterjets managed to get the crossing under 20mins, perhaps I am mis-remembering. Or perhaps they felt like they had greater acceleration than the current ones so felt faster!

I do agree they are the smoothest-riding of the cats and the upper deck is nice, certainly.

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Pretty sure the Ryders are slower, although since they can;t get to speed until outside the harbour it is more limited in effect. Something rings a bell of a 18 minute crossing for the FastCats, but could be mistaken

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Mea culpa - it looks as though the crossings have indeed got slower, without me noticing. Perhaps the Fastcats seemed no faster because of the very slow turn they used to make to tie up at the harbour when I was getting nervous about the train connection.

As confirmation I have rooted out a Wightlink timetable from 1992 which gives a crossing time of ‘approximately’ 15 minutes.

For interest the ‘approximate’ times for the other routes are shown as 35 minutes for Portsmouth - Fishbourne, and 30 minutes for Lymington -Yarmouth, confirming the picture of a general slowdown.

One thing I have noticed on all routes is that crossings are noticeably faster if they are at the end of the crew’s shift!

Since this thread is supposed to be about Lymington -Yarmouth, it’s interesting to note that the 1992 summer timetable gave crossings every half hour, amounting to an impressive 28 or so each way. A standard return for a small car plus driver was £39.40, with passengers paying extra. More expensive than I would have expected compared with present fares, which do not charge extra for passengers. Clearly there was never a golden age when taking a car across the Solent was a cheap undertaking.

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1 hour ago, Hermit said:

Mea culpa - it looks as though the crossings have indeed got slower, without me noticing. Perhaps the Fastcats seemed no faster because of the very slow turn they used to make to tie up at the harbour when I was getting nervous about the train connection.As confirmation I have rooted out a Wightlink timetable from 1992 which gives a crossing time of ‘approximately’ 15 minutes.

And the Our Ladies got it down as low as 12 minutes when running from Clarence Pier.

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9 hours ago, Hermit said:

Mea culpa - it looks as though the crossings have indeed got slower, without me noticing. Perhaps the Fastcats seemed no faster because of the very slow turn they used to make to tie up at the harbour when I was getting nervous about the train connection.

As confirmation I have rooted out a Wightlink timetable from 1992 which gives a crossing time of ‘approximately’ 15 minutes.

For interest the ‘approximate’ times for the other routes are shown as 35 minutes for Portsmouth - Fishbourne, and 30 minutes for Lymington -Yarmouth, confirming the picture of a general slowdown.

One thing I have noticed on all routes is that crossings are noticeably faster if they are at the end of the crew’s shift!

Since this thread is supposed to be about Lymington -Yarmouth, it’s interesting to note that the 1992 summer timetable gave crossings every half hour, amounting to an impressive 28 or so each way. A standard return for a small car plus driver was £39.40, with passengers paying extra. More expensive than I would have expected compared with present fares, which do not charge extra for passengers. Clearly there was never a golden age when taking a car across the Solent was a cheap undertaking.

Ah , but then you could always turn up at Lymington, grab a county press , voucher was always on page 2, car + 4 pax day return, £20 ! Before I had kids the wife and I were over there at the least very 3 weeks!

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Yes, Lymington definitely used to be half an hour on the C-class, I think they were somewhat easier and more manoeuvrable on the river!

I vaguely remember the vouchers, but the other good one was to buy a day return special for twenty quid or whatever, and "forget" to make the return journey! Then do the same on the way back a few weeks later...it was cheaper than a period return I think...

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12 minutes ago, Pigeonrat said:

I vaguely remember the vouchers, but the other good one was to buy a day return special for twenty quid or whatever, and "forget" to make the return journey! Then do the same on the way back a few weeks later...it was cheaper than a period return I think...

That's a great technique when you can pay cash and don't have to give your name. Try doing it with a BF special offer and they'll help themselves to the rest of the money you saved from your credit card. They do warn you about what will happen in the T&Cs. Ed. 

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Yes, that was back in the 1990s when you could turn up and just do it over the counter as you say, you certainly couldn't get away with it nowadays! I think they were well aware of what was happening, I didn't do it as often as some others I knew as I preferred to book a specific time in advance - but on one occasion I took a late evening sailing from Lymington and for whatever reason the period return was far more expensive than usual. No reason for this was given so I seem to recall buying the day return for 10.30pm or something outbound and back on the 11.30, so officially half an hour on the island! The booking clerk was surely well aware of the situation as she found it most amusing, but to her credit she said she hoped I enjoyed my short break on the IOW! :)

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