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Question Regarding Red Falcon Sailing


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This is just something I've been wondering since returning from the Island this past Saturday. I travelled with Red Funnel for the first time with the car after Wighlink's Lym-yar route for the past 30 years almost as I wanted to see what the Raptors offered after previously being on the C's W's & St's.

I thought that the raptors were double ended I never paid much attention to this on the way but on our return sailing (6PM 02/11/2019) I noticed that the cars were facing toward to the Island despite us being well on the way to Southampton.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AmN46OQ-pm8XiLIk3neyBaMdIWt4Ow?e=CPwuI4

I managed to capture the above image but unfortunately it was taken on my mobile phone in almost total darkness. It's definitely the Island in the background, the two masts (Rowridge & Chillerton Down) are an immediate give-away here. Although unclear you can just about make out the rear of some of the cars.

Although the weather was rubbish and I was the only person on the sun deck I kept walking across the ship in between popping in for a few minutes to warm up and the entire journey was the same. As I was returning to the car (on the mezz) I could just about tell that the ferry was turning quite quickly, something which has always amazed me with Voith.

I hope this all makes sense, perhaps I'm being a bit dense here but is this usual for the Red Funnel ferries?

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I was on one a few years ago in a high wind and sea state.  We went accross from East Cowes almost to the Beaulieu River estuary, then we went "astern" along the coast to Calshot, before going forwards again up Southampton Water.  I was was told this was to prevent the ship being broadside to the waves as it made the turns which would cause a lot of rolling motion.  By reversing it always stayed head into the sea and remained more comfortable.

Edited by PSUPete
typo
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1 hour ago, PSUPete said:

I was on one a few years ago in a high wind and sea state.  We went accross from East Cowes almost to the Beaulieu River estuary, then we went "astern" along the coast to Calshot, before going forwards again up Southampton Water.  I was was told this was to prevent the ship being broadside to the waves as it made the turns which would cause a lot of rolling motion.  By reversing it always stayed head into the sea and remained more comfortable.

I recall experiencing something similar with one of the Saints years ago on a very rough crossing to Fishbourne.

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  • 3 months later...

Red Eagle did the same yesterday afternoon in a strong westerly - she turned round after departing from Southampton and proceeded ‘backwards’ down Southampton Water before turning again off the Parade in Cowes. The sea was quite bumpy in the Solent but I’ve known worse. One consequence was that the North Lounge, where pets are supposed to go, was at the south end of the ship.

Was this simply a means of lessening the movement of the ship or does it relate to Red Eagle’s troubles following the dropped anchor incident?

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The Raptor Class have a Voith Schneider unit at each end along the centre line of the vessel.  Both are normally used for propulsion but the aft one in direction of travel is also used for steering like a rudder.  I image if there was a problem with one of the units the Master would favour steering with the stronger unit so the vessel would need to turned after departure for one leg of the round trip.

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