Comment posted Possible weather disruption to Gourock ferry services 14th and 15th June by ferryman.
Robert you wrote “pontoons aren’t designed to suit particular boats” – of course they are. Imagine trying to disembark foot passengers onto the same pontoon from the Ali Cat and the Saturn! The pontoon design needs to consider the vessel’s freeboard, otherwise you will need your hated gangway to get down, or perhaps up, to the pontoon.
Pontoons do have the advantage of moving up and down with the TIDE. However they have a disadvantage in that they can also move up and down with waves, and that motion may not be synchronised with the up and down motion of the boat i.e. boat may be going up while pontoon is going down. So pontoons are a simple solution to a tidal problem for a given boat design, but the situation in stormy waters is more complex.
ferryman also commented
- I thought there might be more comment on this but guess what when I looked the topic had disappeared from the most commented list.
This seems strange since it is being commented on frequently and must be amongst the top three.
Surely Newsroom (aka soapbox) is not censoring the blog?
I know the newsroom (aka soapbox) supported the introduction of a passenger only service but surely they would not suppress a post just because it referenced the actual contract? That must just be coincidence.
- The current method of berthing is time consuming and expensive of fuel.
If you there was a pontoon could you come straight alongside which would be both faster and more economical in fuel.
If you do not think cost cutting and economy is behind the present arrangement then why is it that the Ali Cat, which is the worst but cheapest vessel for the route, bears the brunt of the timetable. She burns less fuel than Argyll Flyer.
Sorry but how do you are you connecting the gangway with fuel? The blind Lady seemed to be a regular ferry user, though I have never met her.
Her problem was with the current arrangements, she did not mention the previous arrangement to Alex Salmond. Personally I have had no issue with either the gangways on the streakers or the current service. Though the gangway arrangement on the Ali Cat did result previously in questions being raised in the House of Commons when people said they had nearly been killed using them.
- Maybe Alex Salmond will do it this time.
One thing is for sure these bathtubs are going to fail continuously, there is nothing politicians can do about the weather, and they are not coping even in the summer. The issue is going to run for another five years, right through the referendum unless, unless he gets it sorted.
- The contract is available here;
“A sailing which either does not commence or does not complete in accordance with the Timetable as a direct consequence of a Relief Event shall be deemed to have been completed for the purpose of the Performance Measure for Reliability.”.
“Relief Event means:
the cancellation of any sailing or the late arrival of any sailing if the cause of the cancellation or lateness is attributable to adverse weather, tidal conditions or any other safety factor (but not the non-attendance of suitably qualified and experienced staff) outwith the Operator’s reasonable control which would in the Master’s opinion have made the sailing or arrival in accordance with the Timetable unsafe or impractical and where such cancellation or lateness (or the effects thereof) could not have been avoided or mitigated by the exercise of due diligence by the Operator;”
The clincher in terms of Transport Scotland’s incompetence is that nowhere in the contract does it state what kind of weather the ferries should be able to run in and nowhere in the contract does is specify vessels tonnage etc. to ensure they are up to the weather.
As a result you can literally put a rowing boat on this root. At the first breeze the Master can declare he cannot row across safely and the crossing will have been deemed to have been made!
If you read the contract you will also note there is no mention of relief vessels. As a result this service is doomed to 4 weeks of half service every year as boats are maintained. There is also no mention of the Cowal Games. Without a relief vessel this service does not have the peak capacity required to deal with the numbers of people who do want to come on foot to the games. Even in the days of the streakers, which could carry 500 people each, there were lengthy queues right from the pier front to the road.
- Simon those 80 cancelled sailing will have been deemed to have sailed under the Transport Scotland contract and so the reliability will have been 100% over that period.
The posters on the bathtubs showing high reliability were funny at first but the joke is wearing thin now.
No doubt we will hear excuses that Dunoon was hit yet again with extreme weather. My recollection was that people were out sailing and the weather was not great but nothing exceptional.
Recent comments by ferryman
- Argyll Flyer in Ardmaleish boatyard
Will the current linkspan works be completed by Friday 21/June?
Working on the linkspan while the Argyll Flyer was having its recent scheduled maintenance would have made sense, but they did not do it.
Bring forward maintenance on the Argyll Flyer by a minimum of 6 months and more than likely 8-9 months seems odd.
Why are they not waiting till September to work on the Argyll Flyer. That is closer to when she is due her maintenance and I hear the Gourock linkspan will be out of action again then?
- Shetland Line remains in legal contention with Scottish Government on Northlink Ferries tender
Regarding the Dunoon Gourock ferry service one of the ‘needs and requirements’ the Scottish Government failed to specify was that the vessels employed could actually operate reliably in the weather on the Firth of Clyde.
How incompetent is that!
- Argyll Flyer spotted going into Ardmaleish yard on Bute this afternoon
The Ali Cat was having technical problems whilst the Argyll Flyer was being maintained recently, resulting in periods of no service.
Following its maintenance the Argyll Flyer was indeed continuing to suffer technical problems.
The linkspan at Gourock is now being serviced with the result that the Argyll ferries is, once again running a reduced service. This happened right through the Dunoon Film Festival.
It is beyond belief that the Argyll Flyer maintenance and the repairs to the linkspan should not have been planned to run concurrently and without clashing with the Film Festival.
- Scottish Government forced to intervene on loose-mouthed Russell gaffe in Campbeltown
JimB asked “why does Dunoon not set out to attract day trippers?”
Dunoon would make an excellent destination for people from Glasgow seeking both Day Tripper and Weekend Breaks.
Why don’t they come though?
Well they certainly won’t drive the long way round, it is too far. There are plenty of other attractive destinations that are closer to home.
A relatively short drive and the pleasant experience of a ferry crossing to the town ought to be attractive, but then we hit the price barrier – £44.50 for a young family of 4 in a car.
Why would people pay that premium to come to Dunoon when they can go elsewhere?
The passenger only service is unattractive because of its unreliability.
What Dunoon needs is a truly competing vehicle ferry services.
- Reminder: Argyll Ferries on ‘refit’ service schedule
The scottish Government has failed to deliver on the transferable ferry tickets it was going to setup. The bus scheme is a bodge that adds anything upto two hours to travel time.
Any news on what they are going to do for Cowal Games or are they just going to try another gamble on the weather.
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