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The North Boat (Northlink ferries)


Where should the North Boat dock?  

447 members have voted

  1. 1. Where should the North Boat dock?

    • Aberdeen
    • Rosyth
    • Peterhead
    • Barbados

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It's January and the weather for Shetland is very bad this year with these continuous gales.  Anyone travelling to and from the isles must consider that the plane in winter and the boat in summer is the best option whenever possible BUT Shetland is suffering really badly from the lack of Freight boats that can do the trip.


The freight boats are once again cancelled before the passenger ferry - the freight boat should be able to go when the passenger boat is tied up not the other way round!!  Northlink can  not control the weather nor the boats they are expected to operate with but the Scottish Government can  do something about it, when designing the next boats for the contract let's get something that is fit for the trip between here and Aberdeen with an engine powerful enough to go head on into the wind not what we are presently lumbered with. Trade in Shetland is suffering and that will affect everyone in the isles eventually.

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Apparently they are the best that was available on the market at the time that Northlink were looking to hire them. There are not many off the shelf freight boats that can fit the criteria, we have a special bit of water between us and aberdeen along with the size and draught that can fit aberdeen harbour.  The passenger boats are built for the route but the cargo ships are chartered in and are underpowered. 


The freight boats need to go out in a F8>F9 but maybe they need to be purpose built to fit our route.  Perhaps the Scottish Government should take this into account as well as having purpose built passenger boats built for the route. This needs to be discussed and clarified before the new contract is comes up for renewal so we can sort this matter out.  The passenger boat can stay in port for the comfort of the passengers but we need to get our exports down the road to Aberdeen in worse weather than ties up the passenger ferry.

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Yes there's time they should have sailed when they didn't and vice versa, but that's life you can't please everybody!


The first few winters after P&O did catch NorthLink out purely because they were naive to think their ships wouldn't roll, pitch and generally move about...the evidence on this was chairs without lashings, gambling machines not tethered, and generally things not properly secured, all of which were addressed eventually. 


As for the freight vessels - yes they are unfit for purpose, and a radical re-think should be taken on them. However (NoLink) or Serco  whatever you wish to call them will not want to be seen to be proven wrong so they will soldier on regardless.

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Apparantly the freight boats are indeed very poor.  I remember ZetTrans or somebody calling for purpose built freight boats a few years ago but it seemed to die a death at the time.


tbh, I don't know if it would make much odds at times what ships we had(freight or ferry).  It's a violent stretch of sea and even the biggest and best would meet their match out there some nights.


Nevertheless, I think there's strong evidence for having better freight ships than what's currently used.

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So, have either the Fair Isle or Foula had a boat this year yet? If they have, I seriously doubt its been in the last fortnight +.....


Maybe something to bear in mind for perspective when viewing the cancellations and delays with the steamer.

Mr Ghostie Sir Good Shepherd's last sailing was 9th of January Shop is looking very bare now..

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^ Sho came down to 10kts through the Sumburgh Roost Kavi, must be coming on a year since I last saw her off the sooth end. She sure ain't no Lego ship though !  :-

... with apologies for coming on wrang treed.....
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