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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Stena RoRo

#FerryNews - Stena Carrier, the ro-ro freight-only ferry that made a notable call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour at the end of April, finally departed the former Stena HSS ferryport last week for further charter work with P&O, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 21,000grt Stena Carrier, easily the largest ever ro-ro ferry ever to enter Dun Laoghaire Harbour had undergone survey work and loading of stores. On completion of works the freight-ferry remained in port though eventually had to vacate the berth at Carlisle Pier, to facilitate the annual Red Bull Flugtag event held almost a month ago. This led to an anchorage spell in Dublin Bay of the Stena ship that at that stage awaited news of charter work, before returning to the harbour.

All this though was to change on 30 May when Stena Carrier finally departed Dun Laoghaire Harbour following the securing of the charter to P&O Ferries, who previously deployed Stena Carrier on their Dublin-Liverpool service until 22 April. This was initially followed by anchoring off Dun Laoghaire before the freight-ferry made a first ever call to the south Dublin Bay harbour which as alluded took place in April. The imposing Stena 4Runner class sister built in 2004 as the last of a quartet in Italy, dominated the harbour's waterfront. 

Further details of Stena Carrier's departure from Dun Laoghaire last week, Afloat reveal as the 182.77m (the longest ro-ro to visit the harbour) was monitored making a late afternoon departure between the pierheads. The ship set a northerly course to round Scotland and continue the voyage bound for Teesport. The English port on the North Sea (relatively close to the Scottish border) is from where Stena Carrier took up charter this month on P&O's Dutch route to Rotterdam (Europoort).

The deployment of Stena Carrier which has 2,715 freight lane metres, led to P&O displacing the 18,000grt Estraden from the route onto their second Teesport service, the link to Zeebrugge. In turn the tonnage significantly boosts capacity on the UK-Belgium connection as Estraden is twice the size of the vessel it replaces, the Mistral. 

Estraden's entry on the Belgium service involves working in tandem with the route's other existing ro-ro the Bore Song. Together, according to Ships Monthly they form the fastest and most conveninent gateway to Scotland for exporters to and from the continent. Noting Afloat's coverage in April of the closure of the only direct Scotland-Belgium ro-ro route by Danish operator DFDS that ran between Rosyth and Zeebrugge.

One of the other Stena 4Runner sisters, Afloat has previously encountered when covering Celtic Link Ferries final Rosslare-Cherbourg round trip crossings in 2014 operated by Celtic Horizon. It was during the outward sailing and when in the English Channel was spotted Stena Forecaster, see report. Then Dutch operator Transfennica introduced the ro-ro ship on a new Spain-UK-Belgium route, however the service no longer operates. 

#DublinBay - As Afloat previously reported the recent arrival of Stena Carrier to Dun Laoghaire Harbour was a surprise to many an onlooker as the imposing vessel towered above Carlisle Pier, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Stena Carrier is the largest ever ro-ro (freight-ferry) ship to enter Dun Laoghaire Harbour having anchored in Dublin Bay for over a week.

The call to the harbour was to permit carrying out surveys of the 182m long vessel. Furthermore, Afloat can reveal that works also involved the ro-ro's landing gear and the loading of stores at Carlisle Pier (see related story). The ship remains in port apparently awaiting a new charter. 

The 2004 Italian built '4Runner' class Stena Carrier is operated by Stena RoRo, part of the Stena group of shipping interests and not to be confused with their ferry division Stena Line.

At 21,000 gross registered tonnage Stena Carrier surpasses the no-longer in service 19,000grt High-Speed Service (HSS) Stena Explorer. The HSS car-carrying catamaran craft operated the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead fastferry seasonal route until a final crossing from the Irish port took place from St. Micheal's Pier (see related story) in September 2014.

In the following year, Stena officially announced to confirm the service be withdrawn and that the HSS would no longer return that season. This marked the end of the historic Ireland-Wales link dating back for more than 150 years. The move saw Stena consolidate existing services in neighbouring Dublin Port where operations to Holyhead are served by two ferries.

The Stena Carrier's location alongside Carlisle Pier is opposite to the East Pier where the harbour's only passenger carrying operator is Dublin Bay Cruises. They advertise the cruises as the 'Howth Ferry' with a sign placed at the beginning of the East Pier.

From the pier's jetty is where the 96 passenger capacity St. Bridget embarks and disembarks those travelling on trips. The vessel is not strictly a ferry, given it is not used by commuters but is based on excursion work. This involves a network of cruise leg options linking the capital port and both harbours.  

Prior to the arrival of Stena Carrier, the ro-ro vessel in recent weeks was on charter to P&O Ferries on their Dublin-Liverpool service. 

The ships's port of registry is Frederikshavn in Denmark. This is where Stena Line operate a short sea link (3.5hrs) to Gothenburg, Sweden. The west coast Swedish city is where Stena RoRo and the ferry operator's headquarters are based.  

#FerryNews - A new ferry for DFDS's Dover-Calais route will be able to carry 3,100 lane metres of cargo and 1,000 passengers. It will be built in China and deployed on the Channel in 2021.

According to DFDS, the Channel is a big and important market. Every year, five million passengers, one million cars and 1.2 million trucks travel between Dover – Calais and Dover – Dunkerque on DFDS’ ferries.

To continuously meet the customers’ demands, DFDS has decided to deploy a new ship specially designed for the services in the Channel from 2021. The ship will be built in Avic Weihai shipyard in China.

“Since the ship has not yet been built, we have great opportunities to make sure that it is designed to give our guests the best possible experience with a completely new ship. We will charter the ship from Stena RoRo and operate it for 10 years with an op-tion to buy it after that. And since we are considering replacing the fleet on the Channel in 2031, the timing is really good,” says Peder Gellert, EVP of the Shipping Division in DFDS

Four DFDS captains have been testing in simulators how to navigate the future ship to make sure that the new ship is best fitted out for the conditions on the Channel. “When sailing on the Channel, we need to ensure that the ship is at least as fast in arrival and departure situations as our current ships. Therefore, we have made modifications to increase maneuverability,” says Henrik Tidblad, Commercial Fleet Director.

The ferry will be highly efficient and environmentally friendly with an expected reduc-tion in oil consumption of around 25% compared to current ferries. It will be able to carry 3,100 lane metres of cargo and 1,000 passengers. With this capacity, it will be the largest of the ships on the Channel.

“I am really looking forward to getting this fantastic ship to boost the business on the Channel. This new ship gives us excellent opportunities to develop our business on the commercial side. A newbuild ship will give us the flexibility to make room for tax-free shopping, depending on the outcome of Brexit. Together with an architect, we will design the interior of the ship to make sure we maximise our opportunities,” says Kasper Moos, VP of Business Unit Channel in DFDS.

The initial plan is for replacement of the oldest of the ferries, Calais Seaways, which was built in 1991. Market developments will determine the final deployment plan, which will be announced in 2020.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Stena RoRo's charter of a vessel to P&O Ferries Dublin-Liverpool route ended at the weekend following the return of European Endeavour fresh from annual refit, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The charter of Stena Carrier to rivals, P&O was expected to terminate tomorrow, however the ro-ro freight ferry Stena Carrier completed duties earlier with a passage from Liverpool to Dublin on Sunday morning. Following discharging of vehicles, the ship proceeded to anchor in Dublin Bay also that morning (and remains so off Dun Laoghaire Harbour). Afloat awaits the next charter possibly on the North Channel? 

Also on Sunday, as alluded P&O's European Endeavour, the largest of three ferries on the Liverpool route, arrived into Dublin Bay fresh from overhaul carried out at A&P Falmouth, Cornwall.

Upon arrival in Dublin Port, European Endeavour, remained in port for a scheduled Sunday layover. A first post-refit sailing departed yesterday albeit some two hours late. The returning sailing from Liverpool in comparison arrived on time to Dublin this morning. Several hours later at 15.00 the ferry departed on schedule with an arrival on Merseyside tonight at around 23.00.

Afloat will have more on the 24,046 gross tonnage, European Endeavour, in the meantime, the focus remains on Stena Carrier which in February provided a replacement vessel out of Rosslare. On that occasion, Stena Line required the services of the charter company, part of the Stena Sphere of companies, that is based in Gothenburg. The west Swedish city is where ferry company is also located.

Some principle characteristics of Stena Carrier (below) of the '4runner' class built. Among them, leadship Stena Forerunner which operates the ferry division's North Sea route: Harwich-Rotterdam (where CLdN's ro-ro recently christened Celine calls to as part of an Ireland-Belgium-UK-Netherlands route diagram).

Stena Carrier

Flag: Denmark
Port of Registry: Frederikshavn
Built: 2004
Gross Tonnage: 21,171
Deadweight: 11,783
Drivers: 12
Lane meters: 2,715
Length Overall: 182.77m
Breath Extreme: 25.50m
Draught: 6.10m

As alluded above the stint on Stena Line's Rosslare-Cherbourg service saw Stena Carrier continue in a freight-only mode (notably with livestock, estimated to be 35,000 cattle) while ropax Stena Horizon was routinely drydocked.

At that stage no passenger services were operating between the countries, except for Irish Ferries ropax Epsilon on the Dublin-Cherbourg route.

There is much anticipation of newbuild cruiseferry, W.B. Yeats onto the capital-continental connection. The 55,000 gross tonnage cruiseferry is encountering delays at the German yard of FSG, Flensburg and is not expected to enter service until late July as widely reported in the media.

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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