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Displaying items by tag: Ferry news

#ArranRedeployed - Scottish ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne is to redeploy a vessel from the Isle of Arran route to Islay and moving another to 24 hour working to increase capacity on the route.

The withdrawal of the Islay serving MV Hebridean Isles for urgent repairs reported last week here on Afloat.ie has left the Southern Hebrides island working with a single vessel over the last two weeks.

To ease disruption on the route, CalMac has now familiarised a new crew to operate the MV Finlaggan and the vessel will run an overnight freight service between Islay and Kennacraig, as well as her normal daytime timetable. Large vehicles such as caravans and camper vans will also be moved on to the overnight sailing to free up space during the day.

"We appreciate the inconvenience this ongoing disruption is causing and looked at all the options to address the issues the island is experiencing. This is particularly busy week,with the Islay Show taking place on Thursday, so we need to use the available fleet resources we have at our disposal to meet demand. Unfortunately, this means moving the the MV Isle of Arran off her normal Arran route. We realise this is not ideal, but hope the community on Arran understand the reasons behind this decision and we appreciate their cooperation," said CalMac's director of operations, Drew Collier.

"We feel this is the best solution we have to meet the demands we are currently experiencing across the network."

The MV Isle of Arran will sail the Kennacraig to Islay route begining from tomorrow, Tuesday and also Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

"We will be monitoring this on a daily basis and hopefully the redeployment of the Isle of Arran will be very short term only. Our technical team is working hard to get the Hebridean Isles back in service as quickly as possible and we appreciate people's patience and continuing understanding," added Drew.

Afloat adds while Isle of Arran is redeployed, her Arran fleetmate, M.V. Caledonian Isles will continue to operate sailings as normal on the Ardrossan-Brodick route

Published in Ferry

#Disruption - A Scottish ferry that serves the Southern Hebrides island of Islay had a collision with a pier on the mainland near the end of last month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The incident involved CalMac’s Hebridean Isles at Kennacraig Pier, Kintyre, this led to the vessel been withdrawn from Islay (Port Ellen /Port Askaig) routes. Hebridean Isles, currently remains under repair with work to the bow, at the Garvel James Watt Dock, Greenock, on the Clyde, operated by the Forth Group.

Ferry services between Kennacraig-Islay have been reduced to one ferry operated by Finlaggan. The disruption during  the high-season, has led to CalMac chartering a cargoship with vehicle bow-loading capability, the Red Princess.

To ease congestion, Red Princess, a former Mediterranean ferry, normally used to carry round timber, is been used to alleviate the backlog of vehicle traffic from Kennacraig to Islay and back while Hebridean Isles is being repaired.

Passengers will not be taken on the Red Princess, however they will be transferred to Finlaggen on the Kennacraig-Islay routes.

Other routes that Hebridean Isles served to the Southern Hebrides (including Colonsay) based out of Oban have been cancelled, however those booked are been transferred to alternative sailings.

Port Ellen, on the southern coast of Islay, is where Kintyre Express operate a service to Ballycastle, Co. Antrim as previously reported on Afloat.ie, see Port Snapshot: Campbeltown.

Published in Ferry

#PortSnapShot – Campbeltown, Scotland, almost at the tip of the Mull of Kintyre and a mere 19 km/12 miles from Northern Ireland, is where the impressive cruise tallship, Sea Cloud II is visiting today, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 5-star ultra-luxury Sea Cloud II having made an overnight call to Dublin Port that ended yesterday. This evening she heads into the North Channel on the short passage to Belfast Harbour. 

Guests of the Sea Cloud Cruises ‘windjammer’, is docked alongside the New Pier at Caledonian MacBrayne’s (CalMac) ferry terminal. This season marks the first year of the ‘permanent’ designated Ardrossan-Campbeltown service, following a three-year summer operated pilot service as part of CalMac's extensive route network of the Clyde and Western Isles.

Sea Cloud II's presents a majestic appearance given her three masts in which the main mast towers 57m /187ft, however, a 3,849 gross tonnage is not much larger than the local CalMac ferry, Isle of Arran of 3,296 respectively. The thrice-weekly operated ferry is not today in port which is home to a trawler fleet.

Asides the seasonal Forth of Clyde ferry service to and from Ardrossan, Campbeltown’s second ferry link consolidates the Irish connection. At the town’s marina is where the ‘passenger’-only RIB ferry to Ballycastle, Co. Antrim is operated by Kintyre Express They also have a Ballycastle service to Port Ellen on Islay.

Prior to this Ireland-Scotland link, was the Argyle & Antrim Steamship Co. that also ran between Campbeltown and Ballycastle. The short-lived three-year (1997-2000) summer-only route was served by Claymore, having been sold by CalMac to the company, a subsidiary of Sea Containers (Scotland) Ltd. In winter she acted as overhaul relief vessel for CalMac when under charter.

On a notable occasion, Claymore left Scottish waters, when chartered during the visit of USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) as the giant 82,000 tonnes aircraft carrier anchored off Dun Laoghaire Harbour, just over two decades in July 1996. A public lottery was held for thousands to visit the Dublin Bay naval visitor by boarding Claymore and other ‘tender’ vessels. This was during the backdrop of Jean Kennedy-Smith's tenure as US Ambassador to Ireland, in the early days of the northern 'peace process'.

Asides the Ardrossan ferry, Campbeltown exports round timber (logs) as seen above at the New Pier Quay, where Sea Cloud II currently occupies this berth. Short-sea coasters on occasions call to the harbour to load timber to Irish ports, among them Rosslare Harbour as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Last but not least, P.S. Waverley, the world’s last sea-going paddle-steamer, in which among her owners included Caledonian MacBrayne until withdrawn in 1973. Two years later she was sold for preservation and is less than two months to celebrating her 70th anniversary, having been launched on the Clyde at a Glasgow yard in 1946.

She is operated by Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. During seven decades the veteran vessel has carried over 5 million passengers from over 60 ports around the UK. This summer she made an Antrim Coast Cruise off Redbay. Stormforce RIBS used by Kintyre Express are manufactured by Red Bay Boats in Cushendall that overlooks the bay.

Waverley made her Irish debut in 1984 along Leinster's eastern seaboard. Over subsequent calls, she has visited Dundalk, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Wicklow, Arklow and as far south to Rosslare Harbour. The paddle-steamer excursions also included transitting Dalkey Sound. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Redevelopment - Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) the Scottish Government funded publically owned ferry network, which was awarded an EU tendering process to continue running Clyde and Western Isles services, is involved in redeveloping a ferryport, writes Jehan Ashmore.

On one of CalMac's Forth of Clyde routes, Ardrossan-Brodick, Isle of Arran, is where construction is underway at a ferryport. The redevelopment is the construction of a new double-berth and ferry terminal in Brodick which is progressing at the island’s main town on the east coast. On a related note the Irish port of Wicklow is connected in the terminal project, through a regular caller (click report here)

The ferry to Arran, is the most southerly of the Scottish Western Isles services, though a summer-only mainland connection also links Ardrossan, in Ayrshire and Campbeltown on the Mull of Kintyre, Argyle.

As part of the overall redevelopment at Brodick Ferry Terminal a Passenger Access System (PAS) is scheduled to be commissioned in summer 2017 before the new facility is completed and handed over to CalMac Ferries Ltd in August 2017.

In a further boost of confidence for the route and notably to serve the islanders and tourists alike, is the addition of new tonnage which is also to arrive from Spring 2018.

A pair of 100m long newbuild ferries, each with a 1,000 passenger capacity and 127 cars/16 HGV's (or combination) are on order for construction to Fergusan Marine Engineering Ltd (FMEL) on the Clyde.

The £97m contract is from Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) which owns the 31 strong fleet, as well to properties at piers and harbours at more than 26 locations throughout Scotland.

The newbuilds are earmarked for the Ardrossan-Brodick and the Uig Triangle routes. A final decision, however on deployment rests with the ferry operator and will be informed by further analysis of demand on all major routes.

The more environmentally friendly newbuilds are to be ‘dual-fuel’ powered through use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and marine diesel.

Published in Ferry

#CargoTerminal - A Wicklow Port regular, cargoship Burhou I, has been involved in assisting construction of a new ferryport, away from routine ‘bread and butter’ cargoes such as round timber, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Among the various work related vessels at CalMac’s ferry terminal redevelopment at Brodick on the Isle of Arran, has involved the 647 tonnes general cargoship coaster, operated by Great Glen Shipping.

The veteran vessel dating from 1978, arrived loaded with primary rock armour for the project to be completed in summer 2017. The cargo was loaded at Furnace, Argyll across the Forth of Clyde.

Burhou 1 which normally discharges round timber (logs) cargoes from Scotland to Wicklow, had in March been detained by Port State Control for a single technical deficiency. After shifting berths to the East Pier, repairs were made to the 58m long, Belize City registered coaster. This was to satisfy PSC clearance prior to granting departure.

This evening, Burhou 1 is heading through the North Channel bound for Lochaline, Scotland, after a call to Passage West, Cork Harbour. This is a privately owned wharf, which regularly sees timber and scrap-metal cargoes as reported by Afloat back in 2011 that reflected on old Irish shipping firms. 

Heading also northbound is another timber trader, Scot Ranger (1997/2,260gt) registered at Inverness, which too called to Wicklow. Shipowners, Scot Line, are regular clients of the east coast port where the 86m vessel arrived from Newport, south Wales to berth at Packet Quay.

Both vessels this evening are abreast of each other off the Co. Antrim coast.

One of eight in the fleet, Scot Ranger, is regularly engaged in supplying Swedish packaged timber products from Varberg to dedicated terminals in the UK and to Irish ports. Following the call to Wicklow, last night the 86m vessel anchored off Dublin Bay awaiting orders. She is now heading to Varberg.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#LiverpoolTerminal - The Isle of Government, Tynwald has voted to acquire a site in Liverpool for a new ferry terminal writes IOM Today.

The Manx Government are also to continue talks with the island's sole operator, the Isle of Man Steam Packet over a new sea services deal.

But following a raft of amendments, and amendments of amendments, the near-four hour debate ended in farce as it became clear that the court was not sure what it had voted for.

New Tynwald president Steve Rodan remarked: ‘You can look up in Hansard what we have just voted on if you are unclear!’

During the debate, the Steam Packet was criticised for its ‘threats and blackmail tactics’ and its motive in pursuing an early deal questioned, with a number of MHKs claiming a distressed fund manager called Anchorage which has a 31 per cent shareholding was just after making a quick profit.

There was no such questioning of the role of the Peel Group from whom a 236-year lease on Princes Half Tide Dock is to be purchased for a new ferry terminal for a price of up to £3.5m.

Indeed all Tynwald members appeared to support the move to buy the site despite no clear explanation being given as to why the taxpayer is to get involved at all, given that Peel had originally indicated it would fund the facility in its entirety – if it could get a guarantee of long-term commitment to the route.

Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne said it was ‘an opportunity we would not want to miss’. He said any agreement to buy the site would provide for it to be returned to the owner at no cost to government if the development didn’t subsequently go ahead.

Leonard Singer (Ramsey) said the purchase of the site would mean we would control both ends of the route.

There will be an open tender for the design and build contract for the ferry terminal, the £25m cost funded by the developer. The DoI report says no work would begin ‘until a suitable agreement has been reached for its long-term use by IOMSPCo’.

The IOM Today has much more on the story here.

Published in Ferry

#ProfitsSink - Dun Laoghaire Harbour will welcome tomorrow a mid-season cruise caller, this will be against the backdrop of losses by the port company last year, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Celebrity Silhouette of 122,400 gross tonnage, and a combined passenger and crew total of 4,000, is to make a return 'anchorage' visit off the south Dublin Bay harbour following a debut call in 2015. A proposed new cruise liner berth submitted by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company is still awaiting a decision by an Bord Pleanala.

Accounts for the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company reveal a €6.3 million loss reports The Times, after Stena Line officially confirmed that is was to withdraw HSS services ‘permanently’ from the port to Holyhead last year. Not to be confused Afloat adds with the final season of HSS Stena Explorer sailings that actually took place the previous year when the fast-ferry ceased in September 2014.

The company had previously said that it was focused on finding a new operator to continue the long history of ferry links between Dun Laoghaire and Britain.

In its latest annual report it said that while it still hoped to resume some ferry services to Holyhead, it was also looking at new uses for the St Michael’s Pier terminal building.

When Stena Line ceased to operate the route in February 2015 seven expressions of interest were received as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Also reported on Afloat was the dismantling and removal of the former Stena HSS berth-linkspan and associated passenger gangway structure. Since that report, Afloat has learnt that the custom-built linkspan at St. Micheal’s Pier has been removed on site and not taken away by barge. 

The process of removing HSS related port infrastructure are scheduled to take up to next month. DLHC added that harbour facilities will only become available for use by a potential new ferry operator but not until 2017.

Published in Ferry

#ScottishIsles – Caledonian MacBrayne’s (CalMac) ferry route to the Isle of Arran, dubbed Scotland in miniature, and to the Mull of Kintyre, provides a ‘gateway’ particularly for Irish visitors, given the proximity of the south-west region, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Among the Forth of Clyde services is the popular Ardrossan-Brodick (Arran) route and the added option of continued exploration further west with the Ardrossan-Campbeltown (Mull of Kintyre) service. Either route, presents an introduction to the wonders and wilderness of these areas and more of the Western Isles. CalMac have an extensive car ferry route network and multiple-destination tickets ideal for island-hopping.

Travel as a motorist or as a foot-passenger by beginning at Ardrossan on the Ayrshire coast which is easily accessible by road or bus (via Ayr) having taken sailings from either North Channel ports to those on Loch Ryan, Scotland. There’s a choice between Belfast-Cairnryan, Loch Ryan Port (Stena Line) and Larne-Cairnryan (P&O Ferries) services.

Arran offers a wondrous mix of mountains, forests, lochs, sandy beaches and a whisky distillery. All of this can be reached by taking the Ardrossan-Brodick ferry of only 55 minutes duration. The year-round route’s mainstay, Caledonian Isles (1993/5,221grt) in the high-season is supported by additional capacity from Isle of Arran (1984/3,296grt). In addition the first drive through roll-on roll-off ferry built for CalMac, sails the seasonal Mull of Kintyre route that runs up to late September.

Alternatively, the short cut from Arran back to the mainland, albeit missing out on the Kintyre Peninsula, is by taking from the north of the island the short-hop on board Loch Tarbert (1992/211gt).This smaller ferry plies between Lochranza and Claonaig, that lies south of Tarbert. This option, also requires a drive northwards before heading south to Glasgow and returning to ferryports on Loch Ryan.

Facilities on board the Ardrossan serving ferries include a ‘Mariners’ restaurant with an emphasis on locally produced food, a giftshop, bar and lounges with forward facing views. On that note, the open deck spaces to soak up these views, unlike the cross-channel ferries, was a most welcomed feature.

The short passage from Ardrossan to Brodick, Arran across the Forth of Clyde presents views of both mainland and that of the looming dominance of the island’s mountain, Goat Fell. The peak of 874m / 2,866ft towers above Brodick Bay.

The Fair Trade island's main town Brodick, has hotels, cafe and gift shops lining the waterfront and nearby sandy beach. On a recent visit, offshore, day-tripper yachts were moored and were joined by an evening arrival of an impressive private three-masted schooner. The yacht took advantage of the sheltered anchorage to overnight in the bay. In the distance thick forests surround Brodick Castle & Gardens, an 800 year-old highland estate, the UK’s only island country park which is open to the public.

The Mull of Kintyre route, Ardrossan-Campbetown, takes only 2 hours and 30 minutes and on this connection (saving on distance, time and fuel) affords further views off the south coast of Arran. Noting on Saturdays only and in the reverse direction, the ferry departs from Campbeltown to firstly make an en route call to Brodick, Arran before continuing the crossing to Ardrossan.

The approaches to Campbeltown begins with another imposing feature, the steep sided Davaar Island at the entrance to an inlet leading to the port. The harbour is home to a mix of fishing fleet and leisure boats at the marina located conveniently in the centre of the town.

Berthed at the marina, was a ‘passenger-only’ RIB ferry of operator Kintyre Express, which offers an alternative direct service to and from Northern Ireland, on the route out of Ballycastle, Co. Antrim.

It was from the Kintyre coastline could be seen south the ‘North’. In the other direction while taking the Glasgow bound bus were more isles: Gigha, Islay and Jura. An en route stop was made at the stunningly spectacular inland coastal location of Inveraray, on Lough Fyne in which Afloat.ie will have a further report.

Published in Ferry

#UNESCOban? - According to ManxRadio, a ban may be placed on the development of the new Isle of Man Steam Packet site? in Liverpool.

The Manx Government’s proposed ferry terminal in Liverpool could be under threat after a heritage body proposed a ban on development there.

UNESCO awarded the city World Heritage status in 2004, and has now said it wants a moratorium on work near the historic waterfront.

It said failing to comply could mean losing the status – although mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has rejected the call.

For more on this story, click here

Published in Ferry

#NorthernLoughs – Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal is unique on the island of Ireland given that two coastal 'car' ferry routes run from both sides of the peninsula, one of which is also a cross-border link, writes Jehan Ashmore.

On the eastern side of the peninsula is where the Lough Foyle Ferry Company operate a 15 minute route between Greencastle, Co. Donegal to Magilligan, Co. Derry-Londonderry. At Greencastle, tomorrow (Sunday 17th July) is to be held the Clipper Family Funday (3-5pm) before the race begins at 6pm.

The year-round Lough Foyle operated route is up and running since Fraser Ferries acquired the cross-border ferry link (see also Passage East Ferry) that was closed last year by a previous management as reported on Afloat.ie. 

It transpires that since that report, the original ferry, Foyle Venture (300 passenger / 44 cars plus lorries) has been retained operating on the Foyle and under Fraser Ferries. The double-ended loading ferry operates 7 days per week and takes 15 minutes crossings. Fares are 20% cheaper, claims the new operator than those of the predecessor in 2015.

Frazer Ferries are also planning to develop another cross border link (Co. Louth/Down)  on Carlingford Lough between Greenore and Greencastle, not to be confused with its Donegal counterpart. Another similarity, it that the crossing times would be the same, 15 minutes.

Returning to the Inishowen Peninsula and that of the other side, is where motorists can also benefit travelling onwards in either west or east directions on the seasonal-only Lough Swilly Ferry service. This is the longer of the two routes, taking around 25 minutes to complete between Buncrana and Rathmullan also in Co. Donegal.

A daily service is provided until September, then the only option is by road to Letterkenny.

Likewise of the Foyle route, this service had been under different ownership but since last year having begun using the Coll. The name of the bow-only loading ‘Island’ class ferry reveals her Scottish Western Isles namesake origins.

Entering service in 1974, Coll with a 96 passenger/6 car plus lorry capability, originally served Caledonian MacBrayne/CalMac. The Scottish government owned ferry operator in the Outer Hebrides also known as the Western Isles has an extensive network. Afloat.ie will be reporting on routes among those on the Forth of Clyde. 

Elder sister, Rhum, by only a year, also retains her Scottish isles naming theme albeit now serving in Irish waters and on a mainland-island link. This is between Burtonport and Aranmore Island in northwest Co. Donegal and operated by Aranmore Ferry, a sister company of the operator on Lough Swilly.

Published in Ferry
Page 7 of 69

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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