Condor ferries

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by 43055, 3 Jul 2019.

  1. 43055

    43055 Member

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    Last week I travelled on the Condor Liberation from Poole for a day trip to Guernsey. The days sailing was brought forwards by around two hours which didn't bother me and it was a really good day out. During the sailing the next days trip was cancelled due to the wind around the Channel Islands. When checking the website later on the other catamaran in the fleet was then timetabled to make a extra round trip from Jersey to Guernsey in the morning which makes me wonder how can one catamaran be able to operate and the other can't? I understand if this was a conventional ferry and a catamaran.

    Also why do Condor ferries give seat reservations? I've never experienced this before with a ferry company.
     
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  3. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    Looking at their website, the CONDOR LIBERATION is a trimaran whilst the RAPIDE is a catamaran, which is actually a reasonably major difference.

    Depending on all sorts of characteristics of the design, different ships can have significant differences in their seaworthiness characteristics. Improving some behaviours actually requires making others worse, so it's never as clear cut as Ship X can operate in worse conditions than Ship Y. Without knowing what their operating criteria actually are, it's difficult to say why one might have to stay in harbour whilst the other can run. It's perfectly possible that under other conditions, the RAPIDE would have been unable to operate and the LIBERATION put in extra services.
     
  4. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    Liberation is larger than Rapide. Both will have operational limits. I've taken a Rapide trip in December. Force 5 gusting to 7, 4m swell, but we still did the trip on time.

    They are dealt with more like an aircraft trip. Back in the days of the huge hovercrafts you used to take a 'flight' across the channel. They were awesome.
     
  5. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    The hovercraft were awesome, but my presence always seemed to jinx them. On all three occasions when I booked a day return trip to Boulogne to enjoy a lunch and get 'duty free' coming back the outgoing trips ran (or, rather, hovered) then return trips were cancelled owing to 'weather conditions', which weren't always immediately apparent. On one occasion, the hover was also delayed on the outgoing trip, so lunch was out by the time we arrived. Oh, and I dropped my six bottles of wine going through customs one time, so a memorable day out indeed!
     
  6. 43055

    43055 Member

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    Thank you both for your responses. Looking at the two ships I can now see the differences and with the Liberation being larger then I would say it would be more difficult to dock her in strong wind. On the return trip it there was more wind and a bit of a swell which caused the Liberation to move around a bit (I was a little worried about knocking stuff off the duty free shelves), so maybe it is more prone to the weather?
     
  7. tellytype

    tellytype Member

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    I worked on Rapide in a previous life (I also played with the SRN4s at Hoverspeed) & I know of some of the problems with the Liberation although I've never worked on it.

    045 (Rapide) is an 84m vessel, Liberation is 102m - thats a whole lot more metal to act as a big sail & catch the wind. One her 2nd day in service Liberation got smashed into the pier at Guernsey, and she has been involved in several prangs since then so she is obviously prone to windage. Rapide on the other hand (having driven her...) is, relatively speaking, easy to handle although even she has had some smacks into the pier.

    These vessels are made of aluminium, all be that high quality aluminium, which is a reasonably specialist repair & fairly fragile stuff, so it would appear that Condor are being a bit cautious with the Lib. I have a spectacular picture, post prang, of a shredded 'prong' on another vessel, Mannanan (IOMSPC) here somewhere.

    Lets not get me started on the amount of new engine & drivetrain components that 045 had to have on a pretty much hourly basis during her service with Speedferries. Incat vessels are usually very well behaved (& when they're not, they go bang spectacularly!), but being ex military I suspect some military standard 'bodge it & pray' work had been done.
     
  8. philthetube

    philthetube Established Member

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    Isle Of Mann Steam Packet Company do, though I think you have to pay for them.
     

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