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V.I. SeaTrans ~ "The St. Croix Fast Ferry" ????

 
Scott Anthony
(@Scott_Anthony)
Active Member

do you think the sea trans will really be up and running by spring? I heard they were having $$$ problems......
what do you all think????
from st. thomas to st. croix.........of course....
any thoughts?

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Topic starter Posted : January 21, 2012 2:37 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Very much doubt it.

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Posted : January 21, 2012 2:50 pm
Scott Anthony
(@Scott_Anthony)
Active Member

maybe by may or june is what I an thinking or planning????.........would be nice!

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Topic starter Posted : January 21, 2012 2:51 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Very much doubt it!

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Posted : January 21, 2012 2:53 pm
Scott Anthony
(@Scott_Anthony)
Active Member

Old tart...lol you don't sound like it will ever be running???? why are you so doubt full??

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Topic starter Posted : January 21, 2012 2:55 pm
HappyFace
(@HappyFace)
Advanced Member

Last July 2011" the Royal Miss Belmar" grounded on a reef and was severely damaged. That is the Ferry that would go between STX and STT. No info if it was fixed.:S

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Posted : January 21, 2012 3:29 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Even before the ferry managed to slam into an island (not a reef) off St Thomas over the July 4 weekend last year and sustained a huge amount of damage, the company was in major financial difficulty. Ferry service between STT and STX has been an on-again off-again venture for several years with different companies trying to make it work. The distance between the two islands is over 40 nautical miles, and usually rough seas have resulted in the vessels being referred to locally as, "Vomit Comet" or "Barf Barge". The air services offered by Seaborne and Cape Air are reliable, regularly scheduled, faster and much more comfortable. The VI government is in no position to offer tax breaks and other monetary incentives to an operation which has not proven financially viable.

I think that about covers it!

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Posted : January 21, 2012 3:30 pm
Scott Anthony
(@Scott_Anthony)
Active Member

oldtart...you sumed it up ...pretty much on the money....and yes capeair and seaborne are a little more 75 and 79 one way but very fast and safe.....Thanks for your expert advise!

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Topic starter Posted : January 21, 2012 4:13 pm
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

Vomit Comet? Barf Barge? I love it.. But please- let's get back to basic Naval Architecture and Route Planning:

1) This IS an open sea passage.
2) Cars, Trucks, Containers and Passengers
3) Mean Transit Times and Utilization Factor by Capacity/Speed.
4) Surge Passenger Periods (i.e. Carnival, Christmas Festivals)
5) Hull design, sustainability, expansion
6) Operation, Maintenance, Fuel Consumptions, Long Range Logistics
7) Crewing, Flag State Representation
8) Regulatory and Inspection

1) This type of passage mandates Ocean Going vessels. NOT near coastal short sea ferries- wave action, celerity and mean sea state controllability in an open sea passage have different design parameters than short sea and near coastal designs.

2) Car Traffic Analysis between islands (probably low), Medium to High Container Traffic. Large Volume Government Passengers Daily (that's right- ships convey people in large amounts way more efficently than airplanes- and way cheaper in large numbers)

3) 43 Miles Dock to Dock? Need a mean steady state speed of 43 knots with a 15% sea margin- that means a 50 knot non conventional multi hull form. Your choice; 1 hour max transit time with a staggered schedule.

4) Hull design- previous experience on this route has proven that the inshore, near coastal aluminum hulls used were severely "beaten up" trying to make 38 knots or so on an open sea passage with beam loading seas; which render large amounts of repairs to the hull girder in way of the stiffeners- specialized aluminum materials and welding...

5) Hydrofoil I think or SES. (That means Surface Effect Ship) Well built or over built to sustain slamming loads. One vessel or two? I would venture one to start with passenger-container attributes.The 50 knot speed is the problem- fuel consumption at this weight to power ratio would be murderous on fuel consumption, but I believe that the one hour max transits time could capture the market- go figure 30 minutes at the air terminal, 18 minute flight time, 15 minute disembark that's over an hour.

6) I think everyone who has attempted to run this route will fail miserably without Fed and VIG help. The maintainance and maintenance logistics are a problem, not to mention long term overhaul availability and scheduling for dry-docking and repairs. It would HAVE to be subsidized heavily for the first five years, then after an appreciable capture of the market share- would succeed nicely.

7) US Flag of course.

8) USCG/ABS

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Posted : January 21, 2012 5:11 pm
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

Barf Barge LOL- Vomit Comet HAHAHAHA8-) I love it! That tells you something about the controllability in the seaway, not to mention the RMS effects of acceleration/decelleration on the passengers! Wham, Slam, Bang, Roll, Pitch, Heave, THEN HEAVE:-)

Not but really, I don't think that the previous operators have given much thought to these open sea operations...

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Posted : January 21, 2012 5:16 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

A hydrofoil was tried - briefly! The passenger base/demand has just never been there for sustained income and has certainly lessened as the flights have increased. Unreliability of service (trips cancelled at the last minute with no forewarning) certainly hasn't helped. All in all, it's just rather a big white elephant for anyone to invest in.

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Posted : January 21, 2012 5:54 pm
jbatl
(@jbatl)
Advanced Member

Also doesn't the STX-STT ferry rely on some measure of government funding? Those dollars are surely not flowing right now.

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Posted : January 21, 2012 6:14 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Also doesn't the STX-STT ferry rely on some measure of government funding? Those dollars are surely not flowing right now.

Exactly. As mentioned earlier they were having big financial problems before they decided to beach the vessel (!) and were meeting with the VI Government in an effort to obtain more funding and financial relief. Those $$s are certainly not flowing now ...

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Posted : January 21, 2012 6:47 pm
sallyf
(@sallyf)
Advanced Member

Oh lord - this brings back memories of a nightmare trip with my daughter's volleyball team to St Thomas - green vomit stained teenagers!!! Needless to say, we flew back!!!

I think that I had one good trip on the ferry - I sat out on the top in some wild waves and spray and that seemed to keep the sick at bay...the other problem is that when one passenger loses their "lunch" it spreads like wildfire!!!

What about a hovercraft - they can cope with some pretty wild water?

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Posted : January 21, 2012 6:55 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

What about a hovercraft - they can cope with some pretty wild water?

As mentioned earlier, it's been tried. Had no more success than any of the other operations which preceded and succeeded it.

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Posted : January 21, 2012 7:00 pm
sallyf
(@sallyf)
Advanced Member

Oh, I missed that part...I was too busy fighting back the gagging feeling at the mere memory of the Barf Barge!!

I personally, think that it is just a crossing that is not suitable for anything small enough to be profitable - the regular bread and butter traffic just does not justify a large "open water" operation with all the costs that accompany that size of vessel.

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Posted : January 21, 2012 7:20 pm
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

Agreed, generally not enough commerce or passenger traffic.

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Posted : January 21, 2012 8:52 pm
Scott Anthony
(@Scott_Anthony)
Active Member

Thanks for the info...have heard so many different stories....but I kinda figured that as well....

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Topic starter Posted : January 22, 2012 1:39 pm
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