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Messages - Steven

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1
The Merrion Lounge / Re: Superfast IX charter renewed
« on: July 23, 2019, 11:42:59 PM »
Would Superfast X not be suitable for Frederickshaven Goteburg or Frederickshaven - Oslo or a new route Belfast - Troon.
Apart from the fact Belfast to Troon makes little sense due to it being just as quick (not to mention cheaper) to sail to Cairnryan and drive than to cross by conventional ferry, there’s absolutely no hope of getting a vessel the size of X berthed at Troon!  European Causeway is about as big as will go.

Gothenburg to Frederikshavn is configured with one more passenger orientated ferry (the still extremely popular and well maintained STENA DANICA) and one Ro-Pax (STENA JUTLANDICA).  Both are also purpose built for the route of course.  Freight demand has increased and so a third vessel has been added (currently STENA VINGA).  Shoehorning X in as a replacement for either of the main vessels just doesn’t make any sense - Jutlandica has about the same freight capacity and more passenger capacity than X.  Danica has more passenger capacity.  X is no freighter either.

The Oslo route is more of a cruise ferry route and geared towards that traffic.  X is many things but a cruise ferry isn’t one of them.  Saga also has a heck of a lot more passenger capacity than X.  It’s hard to see where Stena could move X within the current Stena Line network to be honest.

2
Discussion Board / Re: Investment at Rosslare Europort
« on: July 20, 2019, 04:13:35 PM »
you still have to get to rosslare.
The M11 will soon open up as far as Oilgate later this year, and environmental impact investigations will start soon for the last leg to Rosslare. Such investment suggests someone has got faith in Rosslare as a valuable port. Also saves extra four hours on ferry to France, even quicker if Roscoff is in the equation.
Relatively recently a lovely road to Larne was built which resulted in a total of zero extra services and no increase in demand either to speak of.  Its also closer to Scotland than Belfast  ::).  Don't underestimate how much most people value the convenience of a port near their doorstep.  In fact, is that not what this whole Ireland to France "debate" is all about - people in Wexford and other places convenient to Rosslare not being happy because they have to do what people in Dublin (which is by far the largest population centre in the country, not to mention its convenience for those of us to its North) have had to do all along?  The new road argument could be flipped on its head as making it easier for people around Rosslare to get to the Dublin services anyway!

It only takes a look at a population density map to see why Dublin has been chosen by Irish Ferries now they have got the crossing time down to a similar duration (as well as why Dublin appears to get more investment)

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Population_density_of_Ireland_map2002.svg

That doesn't mean that there should be no investment in Rosslare at all either as there is obviously still demand there for services to Great Britain, just not enough for two services to France plus the services from Cork and Dublin!  There is only so much traffic to go around.

In any case, was this thread not supposed to be about investment in Rosslare rather than moaning about Dublin? 

3
Discussion Board / Re: W B Yeats Disappointment
« on: July 20, 2019, 04:03:49 PM »
While I can see the point that a WiFi system can be overwhelmed by all the connections in a full ship, I think that if a service is provided it should be capable of meeting that demand. Or is that not technically feasible?
It might be possible but at huge cost and with a limited number of users.  At the end of the day you are talking about establishing a high bandwidth connection with a moving object that also moves randomly up and down and from side to side, then sharing it across a ship full of big radio wave blocking metal barriers.  You can only move so much data through what at the end of the day is a radio signal, even when using multiple channels. You wired connection at home probably wouldn't cope too well with a full ships worth of passengers all using it at the same time either to be honest.  Neither would a 4g mobile phone if a few hundred people were trying to use its data stream simultaneously (ship, bus, and train wifi systems tend to use either a mobile internet or satellite internet data feed or a combination of both) . Ship WiFi is getting better though but not at a rate that matches our increasing demands on it.

4
The Merrion Lounge / Re: Superfast IX charter renewed
« on: July 17, 2019, 05:27:37 AM »
Do we know that once she has received her life extension refit, will Stena Europe definitely be returning to Fishguard/Rosslare, or could she move elsewhere (perhaps a Baltic route) and SFX be retained for the Southern corridor?
Highly unlikely Europe is going anywhere else despite some people seemingly being intent on spreading a rumour that just such a thing will be happening.

They are increasing deck height on more of her main vehicle deck which is only really a requirement for the Irish Sea routes so I would safely say she will be retained at Rosslare for the foreseeable future.
Exactly this.  There would be no point in going to the expense of increasing vehicle deck height for anywhere but the Irish Sea.  There’s also the fact that major money would need to be spent at Fishguard just to accommodate a ship the size of X (and the works would take time with X likely already displaced early next year).  The obvious reason to invest the large sum they are in Europe is she is a good fit for the route as well as both its ports.  Elsewhere there are other vessels that make more sense (not least their existing tonnage).  If nothing else it should hopefully buy the route time until things are a lot more certain politically and an informed decision made about the future direction of the route in terms of tonnage.

5
Discussion Board / Re: W B Yeats Disappointment
« on: July 17, 2019, 05:04:10 AM »
I see from Shippax Designs 18 that the children’s play area now looks a bit more like a children’s play area!  It’s good to see that ongoing improvements are being made already, though it does make you wonder how “finished” the vessel was when originally in service!

Hopefully some of the passenger feedback will trickle back to further improvements being made. 

Was on her again yesterday. Deluxe cabin this time. Much better experience than last week. Loading started much earlier at about an hour and a half before departure.
Cabin compares better to 5 star on the OW than I expected. I was very happy, minibar contains spirits as well as beer and wine. Decent coffee machine. Lounge for club class  has great views.

Wouldn't pay the extra myself for it but it is much superior way to travel.

On the bad side, the breakfast in the lady Gregory is as bad as the Oscar Wilde. Not cooked to order, tepid and poor quality. Feel sorry for staff as they are excellent. Premium price and low quality.
Disappointing to hear about breakfast.  Perhaps doesn’t bode well for the Lady Gregory “brand” if the product they are putting on the plate is no better than poor offerings elsewhere.  Breakfast seems to be something which keeps popping up with Irish Ferries!

Nice to hear at least the premium cabins seem to be up to standard.  The main criticism I’ve heard of the standard ones are the size (small) and bland decor (not that hard to rectify).  I guess it comes down to expectations, but with Irish Ferries understandably talking up their latest acquisition peoples expectations are going to be high!

WB Yeats be great on a day sailing to Holyhead, not so suited to Dub/Cherbourg IMO.
If and when FSG777 is delivered her public spaces are to very much be influenced by W.B. YEATS  (similar vessel, more freight space and less cabins but with some big changes engineering wise), so your feedback bodes well for that.  How do you think Yeats could be made a better overnight ferry (without going totally back to the drawing board and building Oscar with more vehicle deck space!) out of interest?  I’m a big believer in it taking multiple trips to get a good “feel” of a vessel.

6
The News Board / Re: P&O Fleet Movements
« on: July 17, 2019, 04:58:42 AM »
EUROPEAN SEAWAY has returned to the English Channel but only for warm layup at Dunkirk.  She will be required again at Larne during September so EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY can go back to dry dock to have this years planned work program completed.


7
The News Board / Clipper Ranger off on a new adventure
« on: July 17, 2019, 04:55:49 AM »
Seatruck-owned CLIPPER RANGER is on her way to Canada!  She is replacing C.T.M.A. VOYAGEUR (ex ANDERIDA).  Initially she is on a one year charter but there is an option to purchase.  The main reason for this seems to be that CTMA are still in the process of negotiating an extension to their contract beyond the end of next March.  Ranger will join the former ST PATRICK II and LEINSTER/ISLE OF INISHMORE/ISLE OF INISHTURK in the CTMA fleet.

More at  https://www.niferry.co.uk/seatruck-ro-ro-clipper-ranger-on-her-way-to-canada/

8
The News Board / Re: FSG Shipyard
« on: July 17, 2019, 04:49:11 AM »
Work on 781 in the build house appears to have ground to a halt again over the last week or so.
Work on Leevsten and Honfleur appears to be continuing.
It is the holiday season as well don't forget , and the Germans do like their annual vacations .

Exactly this.  A friend actually visited a week or two ago and was told much of the workforce was on holiday.  When people booked their holidays the yard didn’t exactly plan to be in the position they are now in.

9
The News Board / Re: Irish Ferries HUll 777
« on: July 08, 2019, 11:25:39 PM »
FSG777 isn't expected until "late" 2020 now according to the most recent report from ICG.  As for replacing Inishmore, the company already appear to be financed to the hilt paying for the existing two new builds.  Not saying it won't happen but they have their finances to look after (and the share price isn't looking too good at the moment either).  20 years is by no means old these days anyway.  Would a "smaller, more efficient ship" be able to cope with the peaks in the route as Inishmore does?  It would possibly make sense to wait at least 5 years before making another major new build investment.  Rumours of new ships usually do emerge when a company builds for another route.

Assuming the shipyard does not go bust Keel Laying could as early as  Friday 1st November 2019.

As Hull 777 is strategically important to Irish Ferries, I see there being a deal done to keep it at FSG.

Given the learning experience on WB Yeats a 12 month lead time should be achievable , if FSG has the cash to pay suppliers on time.

Hull 777 is more RO-Ro with less cabins , the remaining interior should be similar to WB Yeats. This should lesson the fittout time.

There are rumours circulating in Pembroke that as soon as Hull 777 is delivered an order will be placed to replace Isle of Inishmore.
Last I heard they allegedly didn't have enough engineers to finish the design of FSG777.  If the design isn't ready then the likes of Marine Project can't be having the steel cut to produce their sections either.  With suppliers having walked off site and moved on to other projects they may be at the back of the queue as well which will be slowing things down.

Don't underestimate the technical challenge of having that much freight that high up the superstructure either!  Cabins weigh a lot less that articulated lorries and cars!  It's a lot more complex than simply replacing the cabin deck with a vehicle deck.  If they don't get it right the ship will have serious stability and deadweight issues.  12 months might be pushing it for a repeat of Yeats given the yards troubles - they haven't delivered a passenger vessel on time for some time now either.   LEEVSTEN is 7th in a series of identical ships and it seems they are struggling a bit there.

10
The News Board / Re: Stena Line fleet movements
« on: July 08, 2019, 11:09:17 PM »
Nordica seems to be the obvious option but 400 pc?  Hopefully it will just take a few days

11
The News Board / Re: Brittany Ferries fleet movements
« on: July 08, 2019, 11:08:14 PM »
Honfleur now delayed until spring 2020 and next three orders will not start without local goverment funding.
Problem is, the local government say they can't justify putting more money into the yard having already put in some €400m in recent years with the yard now making more losses than ever (€111m last year alone!).  I guess they also have to justify where they are spending peoples taxes (there's also state aid rules as well to stay on the right side of), especially when a lot of the work isn't even taking place in Germany.  At least some of the more recent builds have been financed by loans from Siem rather than from the local government.  Siem seem to be basically righting off their investment in the yard now though.  According to Siem's annual report and accounts the investment by the vehicle led by Lars Windhorst was €33m for 76% of the company (slightly less money for 1% more of the company than reported elsewhere).  The next few months look like they will be crucial for the yard.

Work on HONFLEUR has been progressing according to a friend who was at the yard a few days ago.  Just because you can't see anyone doesn't mean something isn't being done!

12
The News Board / Re: Brittany Ferries fleet movements
« on: July 08, 2019, 10:56:35 PM »
FSG have never built a ship to meet the safety requirements of LNG before,

The ship looks unoccupied with work progressing on the two Siem ships.

I guess TT line are panicing , Irish Ferries are saying nothing.
This isn't the first ship they've built fuelled by LNG!

TT Line Pty are already known to be speaking to other yards.  I doubt Irish Ferries would have much chance of getting a vessel to that specification at that price elsewhere.  Timeline for delivery has already slipped to "late 2020"

13
The News Board / Re: Brittany Ferries fleet movements
« on: June 25, 2019, 02:19:27 AM »
Whereas the ship is new,  the fuel system itself is not and has been around for some time . What IFPete maybe referring to is that it is the first time that FSG have installed such a system .
Whereas the ship is new,  the fuel system itself is not and has been around for some time . What IFPete maybe referring to is that it is the first time that FSG have installed such a system .

How does that make it the same problem as W.B. YEATS which has a totally different fuel system though? 

The main issue with HONFLEUR appears to be down to the fact that suppliers weren't getting paid and that workers have left.  TT Tasmania now expect late delivery and are talking to other yards according to reports from Australia.  Brittany Ferries are so confident about the delivery of HONFLEUR they have chartered in another vessel (see below)!
A delay none the less just like Yeats regardless of the reasons .
Whatever

Moving on, it appears AF MICHELA's current passenger certificate is only for 350 (according to RINA) despite the claim of 1000 on the Adria Ferries site.

https://www.adriaferries.com/en/navi-5/af-michela-en-en.html

With her 70 x 4 berth cabins and 'dormitories' she doesn't sound too luxurious!  Who knows what BF and RoRo have planned mind but with facilities that total a restaurant, a couple of bars, and a shop there doesn't seem much to do on a 28 hour voyage (except eat and drink)!

14
The News Board / Re: Brittany Ferries fleet movements
« on: June 23, 2019, 10:31:20 PM »
Brittany Ferries announced a one charter of a vissenti ship from Stena ro/ro the vessel is believed to be the AF Michela the former Stena Egeria. The charter is from November 2019 to November 2020 and is to provide cover for Pont Aven which will be out of service for 10 weeks due to an engine replacement  and "in case FSG do not deliver the Honfleur on time.
FSG won't be delivering Honfleur on time as that time has come and gone already!  So far as I am aware they have not yet announced a revised delivery date as of yet.  The Brittany Ferries press release doesn't exactly inspire confidence mind.  All of this means Cork - Spain has got at least 6 months extension from the initial 2-year trial. 

https://brittanyferriesnewsroom.com/new-ship-charter-will-secure-2020-season-schedules-says-brittany-ferries/

Connemara will be replaced by AF Michela and move to the French flag to provide additional redundancy on the core UK to France and Spain routes. 

https://www.niferry.co.uk/brittany-ferries-to-replace-cork-to-spain-ferry/

AF MICHELA is of course the much troubled former HOA SEN which was discussed on this very forum a few years back after she was acquired by Stena

https://www.irish-ferries-enthusiasts.com/forum/the-news-board/stena-line-fleet-movements/1322/

Thankfully the Stena RoRo refit (more of a rebuild) appears to have been thorough with no reoccurrence of the previous structural problems.  Although she has a passenger certificate for 1000 from memory she only has about 400 berths.

15
The News Board / Re: Stena Line fleet movements
« on: June 23, 2019, 10:28:12 PM »
How is Stena Nordica coping with the summer rush?
While Nordica is a fine vessel, I wouldn't fancy her at full capacity to be honest (a bit like any ferry).  Its not ideal but at least there is a passenger ship on the service.  I'm sure they'd love her back at Gdynia as well!

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