Sunday, 1 March 2009

A Trip on the New Ferry.




Today Jason Boynton-Lee phoned me and suggested a trip over to the Isle of Wight on one of the brand new ferries that Wight Link are now using between Lymington and Yarmouth. He told me that for this weekend only foot passengers could travel free, so it seemed a good idea to test out the new ships.Currently there are two new ships being used on the crossing-Wight Sky and Wight Light. We travelled on Wight Sky. They are certainly larger than the old ones that the company were using and they feel almost like a cross channel ferry when you are in the passenger accommodation areas. The facilities on board are a marked improvement over the old ships. However it's not all good! Foot passengers had to board and disembark at Lymington by way of the bow-the same way the cars get on board. I understand that there is a problem at Lymington in regard to passengers entering and leaving the ship by the side doors as you used to do with the old ships. It seems that as these ships are bigger the doors are in the wrong place for the existing pier height. As if that wasn't enough of a problem vehicles are having difficulty when entering and leaving the ship. Again because of the larger size of these ships the angle between the drop bow and the slipway is such that a lot of vehicles run a real risk of bottoming out. I spent a very interesting ten minutes watching various vehicles leaving the ship and holding my breath (as no doubt the drivers were) as they inched their way across. Sports cars, coaches,family saloons even a Land Rover Discovery all seemed to have a problem. I would love to see a car pulling a caravan try it!! I would hope that Wight Link are working on a solution to all this because I can see that it will cause no end of trouble when the busy holiday season starts. Once all the teething problems are ironed out I am sure that these new ships will prove to be a big improvement to the service, but I still feel that you cannot beat the old paddle steamers I used to travel from the island on as a youngster.So much more fun................!!


1 comment:

wiggy said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip on the new ferry. Every time I'm down at Lymington, working on the branch line, I always pose the same question to my driver of the day. If the first two ships are named Wight Light and Wight Sky what will the third one be called ? As you can imagine some train drivers have more imagination than others. One such driver who shall remain nameless thought about this question for a couple of moments before claiming " stands to reason it must be Wight Shite ". Well, it made me laugh.
Glen.