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Brittany Ferries Fleet - Seakeeping


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2 hours ago, jonno said:

As a ship, discounting all of her internal features, Pont Aven is one of the worst ferries I've ever sailed on and that list is pretty long. I don't really know what Meyer Werft were thinking. If they'd done their homework properly they'd never have fitted the windows so low on the bridge superstructure for starters. The yard needs to understand that in many instances ferries sail through storms whilst cruise ships mostly turn and run the other way.

When they built Oriana the depth of the river wasn't taken into account in terms of the ships draft and damaged the propellers... wife's uncle wasn't impressed to say the least.

You need less than 5 fingers to count how many passenger car ferries the yard has build over the last 40 years, I think the total is three, Estonia, Silja Europa & Pont Aven.

Not a fan then! ūüėģ I have spent more time on her than any other ship, by a long stretch, so as I said, I've learnt to love her :P

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I've had experiences of PA and Armorique both rolling excessively on relatively calm days, due to swell, but it is par for the course to and from from Plymouth. Bretagne for me has always been smooth. I think my roughest BF crossing was on Tregastel when she was on Truckline duties, many people, including members of my family were being sick. Luckily I'm generally not affected that much.

I have vague memories of a rough crossing on Gotland too when she was on Ouistreham. My most scary moment was on Pride of York beam on to the wind in a force 10 plus, one particularly big roll I remember where afterwards the Captain asked everyone to sit on the floor. By contrast, I guess partially due to their size I've never had an uncomfortable crossing on the Rotterdam sisters, despite sailing in some heavy rough weather. Wave height does tend to be less of an issue in the North Sea though. Those Atlantic waves travel much further! 

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20 hours ago, FleetwoodMark said:

What is it about the PA the makes her such an awful sea farer? - Are there technical compromises which causes its problems. Cost surely can't be one of them?

Remember someone said a while ago that the swimming pool overflowed a bit¬†on a particular rough crossing. ¬†Cannot remember who said that or if it was here or Facebook I read it, but remember seeing a comment that said about the pool being as rough as the sea..ūüėā

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What is it about the PA the makes her such an awful sea farer?

Too much attempted on the displacement is the usual reason.

Plus carrying the superstructure right forward to the bow to get extra accommodation probably doesn't help either. It is usually best if the bow is buoyant to help it ride the seas as with Bretagne. PA tends to 'dig in' and of course lost all her lower forward windows to heavy seas a while back. Ships intnded for rough seas should normally have a decent length of bow at upper deck level. This helps any green water that comes aboard to pass over the side before it hits the superstructure front. If you compare Queen Mary 2 with a typical cruise ship you will see she has a substantial breakwater on a relatively long bow as she was designed as a liner for North Atlantic service. Cruise ships are recreational vessels and avoid bad weather almost all the time so can get away with being less seaworthy. Baltic ferries can also get away with short bows as the wave patterns in the Baltic are different from the Atlantic where the swells have many hundreds of miles to develop.

Edited by cvabishop
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23 hours ago, FleetwoodMark said:

What is it about the PA the makes her such an awful sea farer? - Are there technical compromises which causes its problems. Cost surely can't be one of them?

Her reduced service speed is one of the issues in my opinion. Been on her so many times and I noticed every time they need to put the foot down when delayed then PA behaves differently and feels more stable and less shaky.

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49 minutes ago, crechbleiz said:

Her reduced service speed is one of the issues in my opinion. Been on her so many times and I noticed every time they need to put the foot down when delayed then PA behaves differently and feels more stable and less shaky.

Having said that CB ( and you may be correct) I don’t quite understand why they insist on showing the 10 minute promotional video on board, starting with the early days of Kerisnel. The clip of PA shows her ploughing through some pretty significant waves at what appears to be full speed and bouncing around all over the place. If anyone with shaky sea legs watches that, and you can’t really miss it, it’s bound to put them off going anywhere near the Bay or PA ever again.

Chris

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Of the current fleet I've never had a bad crossing on Bretagne, Normandie or Barfleur, only been on PA once and it was calm. Never tried CF or a Visentini.

My worst BF crossing was on Armorique in July 2018 out of Plymouth. Terrible wind and rain making the sea very bouncy, we arrived 2 hours late into Roscoff and somebody vomited in the Cinema. 4-years earlier I sailed on her from Roscoff and noticed a bit of rolling about an hour into the crossing. Could it be her design or is it just the exposed nature of the Plymouth-Roscoff crossing? Plus with the Cabins being so high up I think the rolling tends to feel worse than it maybe actually is. 

Going further back down memory lane I remember we had an inside cabin on Quiberon but didn't spend much time in it because there was a smell of sick either coming through the vents or from the carpet and the cabin felt stuffy & claustrophobic. 

Had a rough time on MSM once but in 30 years of travelling with BF the rough crossings have been few and far between probably because I tend to use BF for our Summer Holidays.

My worst experiences have been on the short sea crossings. I remember trying to board the Stena Challenger slowly as it was moving from side to side underneath the ramp at Dover then when we got to Calais the Bow door was stuck so we had to leave the cars and go back upstairs whilst she turned around in the harbour. 

Couple of bad ones on Sally Star to Dunkerque and a few rough crossings to Dieppe where I've suffered from the Mal de Mer but the worst definitely had to be onboard Seafrance Cezanne coming back from Calais in October 1996. We left Calais at 9pm( over 2 hours late ) and got near Dover only to discover that the Port was closed due to the Hurricane force winds and we spent the rest of the night bobbing from side to side like a Pendulum sheltering in a bay somewhere. I still recall it now looking out of the window and seeing the lights of another ferry and the white cliffs and then a few seconds later you wouldn't be able to see them. Think we finally berthed around 6am. 

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On 18/12/2020 at 11:14, Khaines said:

Barfy and Normandie. Both great seakeepers.  Armorique rolled for England on one of my crossings on her.

I agree on your views for Barfleur and Normandie, have experienced F9-10 in mid Channel on both and found then surprisingly good seakeepers once you filter out the bangs!

However, for reasons unknown to me Barfleur now postpones or cancels voyages when it is a bit windy and I can't forgive BF for not advising a cancellation in advance of arriving at Poole port entrance. The bad weather was being predicted up to 5 days previously.

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4 hours ago, cvabishop said:

I think the problem with Barfleaur as her bow thruster no longer develops full power which can make docking difficult. There is a discussion on here about it somewhere.

No doubt she’ll go to dry dock before her reappearance in Poole.  Maybe this could give them a chance to sort that issue out.  Normandie had thruster issues as well didn’t she?  

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30 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I believe that the Normandie Thruster issue was a rope and the MSM  Thruster issues a fishing net (or was that a propeller problem ?)

Yes, Normandie’s thruster prop was damaged (aka shredded) by trawler net, but that damage was fixed a while back now.  The only member of the fleet that has a chronic problem with underpowering of bow thruster is Barfleur (and that is widely thought, on here, to have been due to power issues associated with the scrubber installation).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have travelled Biscay many times over the Years.

 

Pride of Bilbao was always OK.

 

We usually choose Cap Finistere if we can.

 

Never understand why People rave about Pont Aven.

Ive had to cancel 4 Galacia Crossings already.

 

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