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Displaying items by tag: P&O refit covership

#NorthChannel – In an unusual move, a Dover-based freight-ferry is to be deployed on P&O Ferries Larne-Cairnryan route for two months while a pair of ropax sisters are refitted on Merseyside, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Sisters European Causeway and slightly longer European Highlander of 21,000 gross tonnage will depart North Channel duties to Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.They are to undergo apiece an 18-day refit work.

European Seaway, one of the Dover-Calais fleet which P&O Ferries usually deploys as an accompanied freight-only vessel carrying up to 200 passengers on the English Channel, will travel to the North Channel to cover for them. This is to begin over the next two months. 

The 124 x 15m freight unit capacity European Seaway, is slightly larger in tonnage terms at 22,988 to the route’s routine ropax sisters that ply the busy short-sea ferry crossing to Scotland.

The programme for the North Channel ropax comprises hull repairs, blast and paint jobs and steel deck renewals is scheduled to be completed by early June. This will be the first time the ships have been re-fitted since 2015 when improvements were made to passenger facilities.

The £1.2m contract for the refits also includes P&O Ferries central corridor Dublin-Liverpool route in which ropax sister, Norbay has already begun a refit as Afloat reported earlier this week. The 17,500 gross tonnage ship is to be followed by Norbank. Both dry-dockings will take 16 days to complete.

As Afloat reported at the start of this week, P&O chartered-in vehicle-carrier, Neptune Aegli which took up duties from Norbay. The Greek operated ship also joins European Endeavour which had been drydocked in February at the Merseyside dockyard and shipbuilder.

As also alluded in that earlier report, P&O Ferries Hull-Zeebrugge sisters Pride of Hull and Pride of Bruges returned recently from career- extension refits in Gdansk, Poland, but this also included a Dover-Calais pair. They are Pride of Canterbury and Pride of Burgundy. The refits of this quartet by Remontowa shipyard cost £14m. Pride of Burgundy is a larger and converted sister of the North Channel bound European Seaway.

The 1991 built European Seaway is the only sister of four ‘Super-Freighter’s built for Dover-Zeebrugge service that remains in an un-altered state. The other trio were modified with extensive rebuilding of passenger accommodation block added to the ship’s superstructure.

On a trip to Cornwall during 2004, European Seaway was observed laid-up in Falmouth. Since then the career of the ferry has not always been in a such a role. Charters have included serving as accommodation-only vessel during construction of wind energy projects in the North Sea.

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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