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AlexMcC

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Everything posted by AlexMcC

  1. Thanks for the clarification. It might well be with some additional forethought we could slide into this sort of arrangement anyway, as the Ben will need replacing eventually, perhaps in the early 2030s (assuming she gets 10 years low utilisation and is well maintained). The Ben's replacement would then become the Ben's replacement again, assuming the Manannan's replacement is more or less the same as the Ben's and so on. Slip companies like Condor and Northlink into the equation (with different internal arrangements) and we could be onto something? From my reading of the new user agreement, it's primarily there to secure the investment for new vessels to be built on the back of loans. So actually very similar to before. I guess they consider revising the agreement every time a new ship is ordered in order to lengthen it sufficiently to pay back the loan, so it's not a blind order. But as you say, this requires a level of thought above what is currently being implemented/suggested. I think my only quibble is with the speed; I think there really is a demand, particularly in the summer and during TT for the capability to run fast. How you build that in (and accept a fare/cost/efficiency penalty) is up to the government/SPC, but I guess a third engine to provide the extra power required (and you could spread the load across all three engines by only using two most of the time) or by having engines that can run relatively efficiently in two different modes? Perhaps a question too far...
  2. It is sensible, but it also vastly inflates the costs beyond what we are already talking about. 3 new builds instead of 1 or maybe 2? And building journey times around passenger demands would either reduce the number of sailings or increase the number of ships required to maintain a schedule with the desired/required number of sailings. And ship and more crew rotations perhaps? Either way, while it might provide a more desirable service level overall, the costs.... would be somewhat higher than today. For a bit of comparison, here is the spec for the new Hammershus, which replaced a Ben half-sister, the Hammerodde on service to Bornholm this year. She's a bit longer than we're looking for, but with a lower passenger capacity, lower speed and a lower spec than we would want really. And she cost € 60 million, 3 years ago. https://www.shippax.com/backnet/media_archive/original/24e7b76befc75dda9762307c695bd442.pdf
  3. It's my concern as well with the combination/timescales etc. for replacement vessels, and perhaps its a point worth making when it's up for debate, perhaps via an MHK? (Maybe I'm being too optimistic...) But as with all things, make a simple, clear argument for debate and it becomes obvious for all. I'm thinking about a faster speed option for summer Liverpool sailings and stretching the schedule, say for TT. I'm not a marine architect but having an extra engine so 2/3 could be used most of the time and the third for when needed would spread things out a bit. The Ben adds extra flexibility in the summer period to provide the extra Irish elements when required, or the Ben could substitute for one of the other vessels on the Heysham run while it does the extra occasional Irish sailing. Plenty of combinations. The nostalgic part of me would love to see them built at Cammell Lairds, but China probably the cheaper bet...
  4. Indeed if one reads the document the previous agreement set out x number of sailings to be provided year round, whereas now the provision is for y sailings over the summer period. In addition, the Irish element of the agreement can be revised every 5 years and 1 year after Brexit in case of the need for a strategic rethink. And there are also provisions to enhance services using the Ben, which the government could cover the cost of if deemed appropriate...
  5. There are some interesting provisions/provisos in the agreement, such as trialing the Ben out on additional sailings once she's freed up by her replacement; I imagine having an increased frequency over the summer period, around Easter and October bank holiday as with the Lady in the past would be appreciated. The Brexit question might lead to some interesting duty-free options too... More generally, in my mind the Ben and the Manannan should be replaced by two identical ships, both capable of 25-26 knots but with an economy mode (~20 knots) as well. You could alternate them between Heysham and Liverpool; as well as alternating speeds and then alternate over the winter period as well to even out usage/wear and tear.
  6. For at least £ 70 million. One new ship to replace the Ben, and either a new ship or something second hand, and no older than 10 years to replace the Manannan.
  7. This should really pay for itself within the remaining period of the old user agreement. At least the company will run for the Island and no other party now..... as long as it’s allowed to be managed appropriately.
  8. I don’t understand your argument, it’s not an £ 80 million pound punt on a cruise terminal; a lot of this is infrastructure, a lot of money is going to have to be spent anyway. And if you just do parts of it every so often, the overall cost will just be higher regardless.
  9. I’m not necessarily saying it would, but the report sets out a methodology and a payback over an extended period. Given that if the island is ever to take a punt at enhancing its profile for cruising, this is by far the lowest risk and price option, assuming it’s tied up to a redevelopment of the harbour. We all know trying things like this might not work out, but you never get anywhere with anything without trying. It’s not just about cruising anyway, the island could charge for ships working the gas fields and wind farms for laying over, big TT visitors potentially spending good buck etc. It defiantly should being in some money, and I’d hedge my bets probably more than enough to cover itself in the medium term.
  10. Ships just generally larger? I'm not saying that is the reason; but better facilities expand options, and perhaps lowers costs down the line (more ships would be available to supply the island for example). Not withstanding the current infrastructure is approaching 40 years of age anyway.
  11. There are some estimates in the report for doing so just as a cruise facility, it's expensive in itself and full of inherent risk as there are a lot of variables (weather, tides and so on), the interaction of which is still very hard to model and predict accurately. If remodelling the harbour can satisfy most requirements at lower risk, the better way to go? Well doing it together does reduces the cost of doing each individually, but the cruise hand is being played pretty hard, and has been for a while. It reads as if there is a fair bit that will need doing anyway, the analysis suggests it will pay for itself in time. And certainly less risky (and costly) than other proposals.
  12. As ever some additional information in the detail. The Victoria Pier requires works for long term structural stability that would cost between £ 3 and 5 million anyway, and so £ 11 million in total to better support the cruise industry (but also equally allow a range of other large ships to visit) doesn't seem horrendous by any means. Though that £ 11 million cost assumes it is part of a works programme totalling £ 80 million, including rebuilding the Battery Pier facilities for larger tankers (£15 million), upgrading the Edward VII Pier to take larger vessels, replacing the Steam Packet linkspan (~ £ 10 million) etc., and works all over the harbour...
  13. The regulatory regime in place for the U.K. (and by extension the EU) is a lot tighter than has been in the US. Oklahoma is a case of large volumes of produced waters being re-injected into different rock formations via disposal wells, without scoping out the effects of additional fluids on pre-existing stress state and faults locally. ​Point being, first it wasn't the fracking and second, fracking is only permissible under very controlled conditions (I'm assuming the IOM would follow the U.K.'s lead on this). It takes something on the order of 0.5 on the moment magnitude scale for fracking to be legally suspended pending a full investigation. ​The "environmental impacts" of fracking are negligible if the regulatory conditions are met. The big problem is the practicality and cost....
  14. I can only assume this is a wind up. I wish it was but I've sat listening to people in a company telling people exactly why they're here and encouraging otherwise to use this Island for these reasons. The idea these people with the tax they pay and the services they sponge off are somehow contributing to our economy in a positive way is simple bullshit. They also push up property prices making houses unaffordable to locals. Overall I think we're well rid if they fuck off. x You could argue the Island sponged billions off the UK for decades, which it then squandered it on vanity investments through poor oversight, e.g., the modern art project that is Pulrose power station. ​But hey-ho, it's all one way, isn't it....
  15. Jesus Christ. And then there's filling the departmental roles as well. Omnishambles. The brain drain is telling....
  16. If Peel Ports won't allow freight from the proposed half-tide dock then they should at least spend some fecking money on keeping Heysham port open & accessible. Fecking shite company. I'd like to see a linkspan type fitting in the space that's currently filled with mud and crap, but yes I imagine more of a floating pontoon style affair like in Heysham now, and with some facility for some freight to be stored, just in case. As to Heysham, I wonder what role Holyhead may play in the future. It would certainly make getting to Dublin a bit easier, though obviously getting to Scotland will take a little longer....
  17. I agree that the current terminal is poor, with few facilities or comforts for the foot passenger, and no access for vehicle passengers to any lounge facility at all. But where the present terminal at the Pier Head really comes into its own is that walking or taking the Merseyrail into the City Centre is very easy. The new plans do not seem to me to show any pedestrian bridge across the dock entrance linking the new facility to Princes Parade. That leaves pedestrians having to walk around the new access road around the dock in order to get to Waterloo Road and the bus route. Effectively, you would have to walk around a Km before you were back where you would have been at the old Pier Head terminal. The key thing for a foot passenger is that there is a bridge from the terminal across to Princes Parade. I can't for one moment believe they wouldn't build a bridge to connect the terminal to Princes Parade, in fact is there not already one of sorts across the old lock gate? It would be sheer incompetence otherwise. I imagine a linkspan would be fitted into the old West Waterloo lock, one capable of taking a RoRo, maybe up to 150 m in length or more? Plenty of space along the dock for some freight etc.
  18. I could not agree more. This is actually the issue. There are some very clever minds that could make a material difference to the island as MHK's but you are not going to get people taking paycuts to become MHK's. Nail and head. The pay is too low to attract back the best who leave the island, who go to university and then have a career afterwards in the UK. The average pay in London is roughly equivalent to the pay of an MHK, depending on your metric. The smart ones are on 50, 60k +. I know plenty of grads straight out of uni on 45-55 and topping 70 after 2-3 years experience. Who would want to work with those running the Island for half as much? You wouldn't have that lot running a travelling circus in the UK, it'd be too funny, people would be suing for damages from strains to the ligaments in their jaws.
  19. I'd hope it was insured? Would be a good opportunity to add some disabled access, if it was feasible....
  20. I was on the Gatwick flight this morning, delayed by 'congestion' at the airport. To be fair, once we were off the stand we went straight to the front of the queue......
  21. Nice to see the troll patrol out so early in the morning, the cave is over there ->>>> Thanks for the useful comments from others.
  22. Do they do Saturday delivery? I have a fairly large package on it's way which I need urgently! (via Citylink)
  23. Off on a small tangent, but I noticed my local Tesco in London has started to sell Manx cheddar over the counter.
  24. AlexMcC

    Flight Delays!

    And I thought getting the boat this-afternoon would mean a nice, calm, relaxed sailing. Crap.
  25. I've not read the thread in detail but has the point of exchange rates been overlooked? The value of the pound against the Australian dollar has decreased by about a third since the company was bought with excesses of invisible cash, no doubt the Steam Packet is having to pay out a lot more than it was previously to meet the payments required, in which ever currency the transaction was carried out in.........
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