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Displaying items by tag: New Thames Commuter Craft

#CityRiverFerry – Last night’s Late Late Show’s competition for a holiday in the UK capital is where visitors can take in the sights of the famous River Thames, which is to benefit with new larger passenger craft in summer 2017, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The order for a pair of 170 passenger craft represents the largest fast passenger ferries contracted from a UK shipyard in over 25 years. Confirmation of the order was recently announced by shuttle river-bus operator, MBNA Thames Clippers. By the end of this year, they are to carry over four million commuters and tourists alike on Old Father Thames through central London.

MBNA Thames Clippers, have placed the £6.3m order for the 35m high-speed craft with an Isle of Wight yard. They will add 14% in capacity to the network and increase frequency. The newbuilds follow a pair of 150 passenger catamarans dating only to 2015. The fleet currently totals 15 craft, which includes Meteor Clipper pictured above (when captured from under London Bridge). 

Asides the busy commuter routes, MBNA Thames Clipper also serve the O2 Arena (former Millennium Dome) downriver in the north Greenwich area, by making before and after event trips.

This service echoes that of a Dublin operation during the mid-1990’s, where Liffey Line had a shuttle river-bus linking City Quay (near Tara DART Station) downriver to the Point Theatre at the North Wall. This is also where round-trips where made from the city-centre to serve patrons of the theatre. The venue would latter become the The O2 currently is now named the 3Arena. 

The craft used was formerly from the Shannon, in which I recall plying the Liffey with advertising hoardings sponsored by Guinness. At the time this bought fresh memories of the stout tankers, The Lady Patricia and Miranda Guinness that had only been disposed a few years previously.

Afloat on another posting will be examining in more detail other operations on the Liffey. This will feature both past and present 'excursion' only operator, Dublin Discovered Boat Tours. 

Published in Ferry

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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