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Thread: Tripadvisor

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    Senior Member channel's Avatar
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    Tripadvisor

    It is pleasing to see the reviews for KC's operation on the Dart.

    http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attract...n_England.html

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Indeed Chris - reviews for KC and the whole Dart operation have been almost entirely excellent. A professional operation indeed which integrates KC into a wider tourist "experience". A so-called pearl in a so-called string

    Just looking at the first page of the above link there is one slightly critical one, due to the ship itself and how it is handled and how it did cause delays and concerns

    Satisfying (for me) to note how the General Manager has responded to this matter, explaining the issues and, I would presume, greatly reassuring the reviewer and the general public reading the review. A genuine promise to review resulting customer issues as well, I suspect
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-22-2014 at 10:03.

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    Senior Member GeoffHamer's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    The KINGSWEAR CASTLE's trips are all short trips where passengers are not aboard for more than an hour and a half. The crew are local, know the area well and are experienced at giving a good commentary. Most people will only buy a ticket if the weather is fine, and I doubt whether she carries many passengers if it's raining. The steamer was, however, discreetly modified during her time on the Medway to provide more shelter from wind and rain.
    The WAVERLEY attracted complaints mainly from people on long trips who found the catering poor, and especially from people who booked in advance and found the ship lacked adequate shelter from rain. The crew are also the cause of many complaints.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Did anyone else clock the great reviews Shieldhall gets ?

    No bad ones - and great words about the friendly and enthusiastic crew. Oh and how do those volunteers manage to make such nice food ?

    Need I say more ?
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-22-2014 at 23:25.

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    Deceased Waverleyfan3's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by tramscape Tripadvisor
    Did anyone else clock the great reviews Shieldhall gets ?

    No bad ones - and great words about the friendly and enthusiastic crew. Oh and how do those volunteers manage to make such nice food ?

    Need I say more ?
    I don't know anything about the Shieldhall food. What I do know is that the Shieldhall volunteers (excellent as I am sure they are) do not require to be on board an old paddler (even on a rota basis) seven days a week, almost five months a year, living in somewhat spartan conditions, visiting ports from Largs to London, attempting to secure adequate supplies ranging from fuel to fish and chips, and dealing with the countless other matters that such an ambitious operation inevitably throws up. Same might be said for the Kingswear Castle which also undertakes her limited operation with a limited amount of passengers very well.
    Last edited by Waverleyfan3; 10-23-2014 at 00:50.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by Waverleyfan3 Tripadvisor
    I don't know anything about the Shieldhall food. What I do know is that the Shieldhall volunteers (excellent as I am sure they are) do not require to be on board an old paddler (even on a rota basis) seven days a week, almost five months a year, living in somewhat spartan conditions, visiting ports from Largs to London, attempting to secure adequate supplies ranging from fuel to fish and chips, and dealing with the countless other matters that such an ambitious operation inevitably throws up. Same might be said for the Kingswear Castle which also undertakes her limited operation with a limited amount of passengers very well.
    ...... but they run an exemplary operation with an old screw-steamer (which their aim is to keep preserved) which gets great reviews, appears to provide tasty food, provides coastal cruises for all who might wish to do so etc etc. All with minimal government subsidy, not an enormous call on the pockets of supporters and in what seems a happy environment. The more I look at it, the more I regard this as an exemplary operation and the most feasible way of preserving such a ship in operation. Just imagine what their books would look like if their passenger certificate was increased somewhat

    You say that Waverley's is an "ambitious" operation. Indeed so. My ambition might be to climb Everest, but I can be sure that I would drop off the cliff edge pretty soon after leaving base camp ! Therefore I walk the tram routes of European cities, where one might encounter the odd modest slope on occasion. I'm safe and doing very nicely !
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-23-2014 at 10:11.

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    Senior Member GeoffHamer's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    The SHIELDHALL offers a few non-landing cruises in the Solent each summer. She made one return trip this year all the way to Poole and back. She carries a limited number of passengers because she has limited passenger accommodation. Perhaps the WAVERLEY could be based at Greenock and make a few non-landing cruises each summer, but it would be a completely different sort of operation from the current one and would bear little resemblance to the sort of services provided by Clyde steamers in the past.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    As everyone knows I have developed a plan for a vessel equivalent to Waverley, albeit provisionally based at Largs

    If offering around about double the number of cruise days that Shieldhall does, ie around 44 on weekends and bank holidays in the summer season, the prospective financial result is potentially breakeven, with the potential for surpluses

    It is highly unlikely that the losses would ever get to anywhere the levels attributable to Waverley - and there is absolutely no need for this ship to sail 10 hours per day nor in weekdays, during which Waverley is struggling to do much more than cover her fuel costs and incidentals. Such a programme would offer exactly what Clyde steamers did in the past - in a potentially sustainable way !

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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by tramscape Tripadvisor
    As everyone knows I have developed a plan for a vessel equivalent to Waverley, albeit provisionally based at Largs

    If offering around about double the number of cruise days that Shieldhall does, ie around 44 on weekends and bank holidays in the summer season, the prospective financial result is potentially breakeven, with the potential for surpluses

    It is highly unlikely that the losses would ever get to anywhere the levels attributable to Waverley - and there is absolutely no need for this ship to sail 10 hours per day nor in weekdays, during which Waverley is struggling to do much more than cover her fuel costs and incidentals. Such a programme would offer exactly what Clyde steamers did in the past - in a potentially sustainable way !
    Yes it's the old chestnut, either Waverley does things along similar lines as to now, or becomes a localised operation along similar lines as Shieldhall and KC. Presumably, adopting this sort of criteria, the scenario for Balmoral would be a localised operation on the Bristol Channel.. so is the 200-year-old tradition of coastal day excursions to sea indeed a dead duck and is the Balmoral Fund Ltd. swimming against the tide in their ambitious future scenario???

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Well, in the past we had a series of localised operations, now we have one vessel trying to cover all (or at least as many as possible) locations to some degree - and in the Clyde we never had excursions "to sea" anyway

    Whether Balmoral can replicate what happened in southern areas remains to be seen. No technical reason why she shouldn't

    I was a bit surprised when I was told that there was a sustainable business plan based on the sort of programme proposed at the outset. However, everyone understands, I think, that its success depends on severe control of overheads and fixed costs. Whether the administrative centre needed to support such an ambitious programme can be constrained in such a way I don't know. My initial thoughts were that it would be difficult, if not impossible

    How important really is an all-days operation ?

    Operating a la Shieldhall surely preserves coastal cruising - and the ship. Anything else might put both at risk !
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-23-2014 at 15:36.

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    Member nthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    As good as the Sheildhall operation is I don't think it's a sustainable one. You may recall their issues of a couple of years ago that almost closed the operation down. It is only the Heritage lottery fund that has ensured the short to medium term future of the vessel.
    In my humble opinion, the only steam vessel with a reasonably assured operating future is KC. This is because she is run by an enlightened company that can spread fixed costs among many assets, the PSPS holding a largish sum for renewals, and the fact that she can be operated by a small crew.
    nthomas, proud to be a member of National Steam Ship Preservation since Jun 2011.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    My analysis is that the cost base of Shieldhall is such that she is never going to lose too much money. Her big issue is the passenger capacity limitation of 200 which means she cannot earn enough money.

    She does rely on donations and sponsors and (like any ship will now do) HLF for major renovation work

    Because she will never lose "too much" money, there is a chance the deficit will be bridged

    Waverley's was not bridged other than by a national appeal and by the exceptional circumstances of the Weirs in 2011/12 and even at the recently reduced level, there is a need for donations and local authority grants (on top of the major Gift Aid reclaims

    My assumption is that if ship of the size and attractiveness of Waverley's costs can get down to nearer Shieldhall levels, her massive earning capacity will make her a sustainable proposition .......... until any major rebuild is required. If she can show financial discipline, there is more chance of HLF funding ..... and partnership funding as her "support" base will continue to remain much wider and more substantial than Shieldhall's
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-23-2014 at 20:11.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    My analysis of the "Shieldhall model" for other vessels is, of course, hypothetical as it would not seriously be considered whilst Waverley is still in the market, and although two ships needn't necessarily be ruled out, it would not receive enough support, I suspect

    I would have thought it appropriate for Balmoral though and Maid of the Loch, although both appear to be basing their work on the traditional model (with sustainability professionally confirmed in MOL's case)

    Waverley's business is, I think, sustainable to the extent that if she performs financially like 2013, the shortfall (after local government support) was only around £ 70 k - a pretty small loss under the circumstances and as I have suggested, surely not outwith the ability of "supporters" to provide on-going subsidy

    We now have the prospect of Arnold Clark on board and whilst local authority support will diminish there is no immediate assumption that it won't be renewed in some form or other

    Clearly a major mechanical breakdown will mean extra out of the pockets of supporters - but WSN thankfully now has substantial reserves again. The next "rebuild" is the big imponderable, like it would be for any ship
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-23-2014 at 21:13.

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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by tramscape Tripadvisor
    My analysis is that the cost base of Shieldhall is such that she is never going to lose too much money. Her big issue is the passenger capacity limitation of 200 which means she cannot earn enough money.
    How on earth do we know how many volunteers the MCA would permit as part of overall crew on a limited Waverley operation from say Largs carrying a capacity of say 400 or more passengers to Rothesay and Round Bute which would seem to be required in view of her fuel costs?? Wouldn't fares have to be drastically lower...who is going to pay £19 for a 40-minute each way return trip to Rothesay?? How much are Caledonian Marine Assets going to charge for berthing/overnight dues and in any case would CalMac be ameniable to having Waverley berthed overnight at Largs seven days a week??? And finally while Largs might suit me fine, is there really a market for a Round Bute cruise every weekend??

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    OK, let's have a look at it

    Crew - presumably no different to now ? 19 crew - 860 passengers is the Waverley situation, so is the template for a similar vessel
    Why should it be any different whether you are unpaid volunteer or paid employee ?

    Fares - a difficult issue. My revised proposal would have Largs-Rothesay return as £ 12.50 before Gift Aid, but prices might have to be put up to more like premium levels. Remember some (admittedly London-based) TA correspondents saying put up prices and have less people on board. My assumption would by and large be to follow WEL pricing by and large. Remember, you are not trying to fill an emptyish midweek sailing

    Finding an appropriate berth would be something that any business entering the market would have to undertake and act according to opportunities, but as you know WEL have negotiated support from Glasgow City Council and I have read IIRC that it is to some extent to offset berth costs there

    Markets? Why not - and my revised proposal has two routes now anyway. However, Waverley has a standard route each day with some variation on a Sunday (which, apparently, they find hard to sell). Most excursion ships around Europe at least stick to one basic route day in day out . The desire to seek out some different cranny in the loch system is I think something appealing to "nutters" and not the general public - most of whom would likely sail maybe once a year, twice if they are keen. Tourists would want to see the main beauty spots, so market Kyles/view to Arran/Cumbrae Circle as the "must see"...... and they have the choice of that or fjord-like Loch Long as well ..... but what more would they want to see ? See those and you have seen all you need.

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    Senior Member GeoffHamer's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    A volunteer crew would have to be much bigger than a professional crew. The SCHAARHÖRN, for example, originally had a crew of 8 but now has about 20 volunteers. Volunteers could not be expected to work hard throughout a trip. By the nature of volunteers, most would be retired people who would generally have less stamina than younger people. Whatever their ages, they would not be available to work every weekend throughout the summer, so a large pool of volunteers would be needed; otherwise sailings would be cancelled because Fred's wife is ill, Andrew's going to a wedding, Bill has hurt his ankle, etc, etc. If the schedule were the same every weekend, that would hardly encourage volunteers to give up their time. All these people would have to be trained to satisfy the MCA. There would still be work to do during the week: a ship can't just be parked and left like a bus.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    So how do so many other vessels manage it ?

    Not easy, of course, but could not another do so ?

    Bigger vessels can be attractive to a bigger pool of potential resources - so long as it is the "right" vessel

    I would not agree that volunteers could not be expected to work hard. People would surely be matched to the tasks involved. Does it take four volunteers to heave a rope on other ships or three to pour a cup of coffee ?

    If it can't be made to work, let's not even consider it - and leave it to others to fathom out if it is possible !

    Granted though, it's much easier and much less hassle just for every PSPS member to chip in say £ 30 each extra per year then we needn't worry about anything - and can get back to normal life safe in the knowledge that at least Waverley will be there ...... if you want her

    Marisco was right
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-23-2014 at 23:40.

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    Re: Tripadvisor

    I know I have posted this before, but as Schaarhorn is mentioned - it has a group of 90 active volunteers for on-board duties. 90 for a little boat like that. Imagine how many Waverley (if she was ever looking for people) would attract !

    This is how the people are organised. German efficiency, no doubt, but they are no different from us at the end of the day. People give dates they are prepared to work before the season and rosters are drawn up on that basis - and they do 60 days sailing in total

    Organization

    Our active members have the opportunity to ride in the crew on the SCHAARHÖRN and to participate in the ship maintenance. This does not depend on any prior knowledge.

    When can you be here?

    For the sailing season, we ask for the active members, on which days they can stand for tours. Then we make the division of the Department for the days on which SCHAARHÖRN then actually sailing. These are about 60 days a year. Learn the latest about three weeks before use, who divided it. According to the wishes of the members and the possibilities a division of the crew can be done for multi-day trips, for example to Kiel or Flensburg.
    SCHAARHÖRN can drive only if the crew is complete. Therefore we rely on that every individual of the scheduled crew time and reliable starts his service. Who canceled at short notice, for example, due to illness or professional interests, this must be notified as soon as possible so we can replace it.

    What requirements must meet the crew?

    On our trips some positions must be occupied by holders of official permissions. There are also many uses for which there are no official prerequisites, for example, heater, deck hands, Kombüsenhilfe, cook or care of the guests. Who wants to know exactly, can under [Applications] inform. We strive members with prior knowledge as quickly as possible accurately to use (bridge, deck, engine, boiler, galley, guest relations).
    For the crew of the use of alcohol or other intoxicants is prohibited before and during the trip for security reasons. For the same reason no spirits may be brought or consumed on board, neither of our passengers, nor of our crew. This of course does not stop us, have a drink after the ride together and occasionally to eat.
    And we drink?
    After the rides, you should still take into account some time for family time, with or without alcoholic beverages. Before the rides and to the mooring is total ban on alcohol. Spirits there are not on board.

    And what do you get?

    Active members receive loaned work clothes. On polo shirt, sweatshirt, rain jacket and vest sailors we charge a deposit of 15 euros, which will be refunded upon return. Accommodation and meals on board are free. However, the Logis can sometimes even when the berths are scarce, consisting of a place to sleep on a cushioned bench. Necessary to hotel stays, we pay a subsidy of 30 euros / night. Collaboration in and around the SCHAARHÖRN is honorary. There are no material compensation, but prearranged expenses to be replaced.

    And the ship care?

    We ask our active members to work according to ability to about four Saturday mornings in the year-on board without SCHAARHÖRN drives. If you have time, can also or instead voluntarily participate every Wednesday on Schaarhörn. As is deleted, brass cleaned, repaired, refurbished, cleaned, prepared trips, etc., etc. .. Therefore SCHAARHÖRN is in such good shape.
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-24-2014 at 00:04.

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    Deceased Waverleyfan3's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tourists would want to see the main beauty spots, so market Kyles/view to Arran/Cumbrae Circle as the "must see"...... and they have the choice of that or fjord-like Loch Long as well ..... but what more would they want to see ? See those and you have seen all you need.

    As previously discussed, tourism in Clyde resorts is not by and large in a healthy state and there are no major hotels in Largs, Rothesay or Dunoon that exist without the patronage of coach tours, largely consisting of senior citizens. When in these resorts, guests board coaches on their doorstep which take them to a variety of destinations and from what I can gather the packages on offer are popular. Waverley has regularly attracted 200 or more patrons every Tuesday from Dunoon, courtesy of Lochs and Glens Holidays (presumably at extensive discounts) otherwise the fjord like Loch Long cruise would rarely be more than half full. The THREE largeish hotels in Largs have a combined capacity that is probably less than the 100-bedroom Glenburn in Rothesay which does not appear to have Waverley on its excursion menu. Without day-trippers Largs would die and the notion that substantially more numbers are going to flock there at weekends because they can get a cruise Round Bute via the Kyles is at best fanciful. Waverley would desert Glasgow for the former "golden coast" further down the Clyde at her peril.

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    Senior Member GeoffHamer's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    The SCHAARHÖRN needs a crew of 8 but has a volunteer crew of 20. To provide this number, there is a pool of 90 volunteers, even though she does not make day trips every weekend. The WAVERLEY needs 19 crew, so a pool of at least 200 volunteers would be needed and all would have to be trained to satisfy the MCA, and would need training in specific tasks. Even for a simple job like serving coffee, a volunteer would be less efficient than someone who did it every day, and would be unlikely to want to do it throughout a day trip, which is why more volunteers would be needed.
    As well as the crewing problem, there would be the difficulty in attracting passengers for regular cruises from Largs. Trade would be dependent on the weather and on a wet day, the crew might outnumber the passengers.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Well, Geoff has a very pessimistic view of the potential market (as well as the potential number and ability of volunteers)

    Largs has seemed a place of decent numbers any time I have been there (usually midweek) and I would venture likely to have better numbers at a weekend

    nevertheless if people don't think that people are prepared to travel any distance for a Waverley (or equivalent vessel) trip, then there is not much hope. The thing is, people do travel if the attraction is attractive enough. On travels to view a good country house, one doesn't wait for it to come to your town

    With regard to WF3's point about Glasgow, We have discussed this before I know, but yes, it is the honeypot and I can see a weekend only operation (when not in competition with Waverley) being full every trip ..... or at last comfortably full. On the low-cost business model, this is a BIG money spinner. However, it would in my book require too long a day for crewing by those tired and less-than-capable volunteers if the ship was to get anywhere sensible or scenically attractive. A trip into Loch Long might be feasible, however - and maybe a quick non-stopping visit to Rothesay
    You are likely then to be relying on uncomfortably-packed ships with heavy demand for booze - which makes stewardship of the passengers difficult and possibly uncomfortable. That type of situation really shouldn't be encouraged

    To make the business work, you still need much lower average loads on the Largs based cruises than Waverley achieves on average on a weekend to break even and you don't have the issue of less-than-productive midweeks which Geoff presumably has information that passengers will not exceed crew by much. WEL's figures usually put numbers in the 300-400 bracket

    I'll stick by my analysis and am quite prepared for others to snipe. However, if anyone seriously involved needs to look at it for any reason in the future because existing policies have failed ...... or if anyone wishes to pursue it based on a second ship (such as one proposed)....... they are more than welcome to come to me

    As I said, I might consider chipping in my £ 30 if every other member is going to do so ............. but at the moment, my money is going to Maid of the Loch

    Actually, I would appreciate Geoff's analysis of that project. It was not one of those which he listed as potentially sustainable
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-24-2014 at 11:25.

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    Deceased Waverleyfan3's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by tramscape Tripadvisor
    I'll stick by my analysis and am quite prepared for others to snipe. However, if anyone seriously involved needs to look at it for any reason in the future because existing policies have failed ...... or if anyone wishes to pursue it based on a second ship (such as one proposed)....... they are more than welcome to come to me. As I said, I might consider chipping in my £ 30 if every other member is going to do so ............. but at the moment, my money is going to Maid of the Loch.
    I don't see it is a question of sniping. I am probably one of the few who has forked out more than £450 for a Clyde season ticket this summer and I have no regrets. I obviously would not be doing so ever again under a weekend only Largs-based scenario though I would be quite prepared to chip in a donation of £30 in addition to my payment of fares though I suspect my participation in such weekend ventures would be restricted to a handful of trips. My Saturday destination would be Rothesay (as always) which has the alternative of being achievable for £8.60 return via CalMac and Wemyss Bay (probably less when RET kicks in) with an option of return timings and a free 12-minute bus ride to Wemyss Bay and back from Largs. As for volunteers, the assertion by Geoff Hamer that a pool of at least 200 volunteers would be needed is probably ridiculously high but all would indeed have to be trained to satisfy the MCA. At least four able-bodied types would be required alone to lug those heavy gangways up and down the paddle boxes. I appreciate that this whole matter is being put forward as a scenario if all else fails, but I'm sorry I just don't buy it. As for Maid of the Loch, those guys at Balloch have worked wonders in restoring her from a virtual wreck, but it's now some 34 years since she last sailed and it's difficult to see how there would now be a sustainable market even if the millions of pounds were forthcoming from the HLF or some other benefactors.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    ....... I really should have said "nay-sayers" but you can't go back and change things now if they dawn on you a bit later on !

    Financially it makes perfect sense. I know it is something people can't imagine because it is not "the way we have always done it", but as I keep saying, plenty of examples exist. It is surely not beyond the scope of achievability ?

    Waverley needs around £ 2 million per year to cover costs. With Shieldhall for example the equivalent is not much more than £ 0,25 million IIRC and certainly less than £ 0.5 million, yet we get just as much "preservation" out of the whole business. I know which revenue target I would rather be chasing

    It's a shame you would not be participating so much - you might get 44-ish opportunities to visit Rothesay in a year - and a chance to stay on board if desired.

    I would have thought that it was also a perfect model for Maid of the Loch, though they have chosen the traditional way. What we can say is that MOL has had two professional consultants reports predicting sustainability and reconfirming it - and as far as I know, the proposals did not arouse the concern of the HLF on this matter. The latter is only recent so has to be regarded as positive
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-24-2014 at 13:25.

  24. #24
    Senior Member GeoffHamer's Avatar
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    My estimate of a pool of 200 volunteers was based on the idea that the ship would be sailing every Saturday and every Sunday. There would be people who have commitments on Saturdays or on Sundays, some people might actually want a summer holiday or might want to visit friends or relatives. Volunteers might be keen at first, but if they're expected to work as hard as younger people paid wages, and expected to do it come rain or shine every weekend for the same trip round Bute, I think the initial enthusiasm would quickly disappear. A volunteer crew would be a constantly changing crew and would need to be much larger than a crew that worked together every day.

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    Deceased Waverleyfan3's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by GeoffHamer Tripadvisor
    My estimate of a pool of 200 volunteers was based on the idea that the ship would be sailing every Saturday and every Sunday. There would be people who have commitments on Saturdays or on Sundays, some people might actually want a summer holiday or might want to visit friends or relatives. Volunteers might be keen at first, but if they're expected to work as hard as younger people paid wages, and expected to do it come rain or shine every weekend for the same trip round Bute, I think the initial enthusiasm would quickly disappear. A volunteer crew would be a constantly changing crew and would need to be much larger than a crew that worked together every day.
    I don't think the ultimate question has been posed as yet, namely what Master(s) with extensive paddle steamer experience might make himself available every weekend to mastermind such a part-time exercise and ensure that there are sufficient volunteers aboard trained and qualified to MCA standards to allow him to sail. Waverley is NOT the KC or Shieldhall ..the latter are very commendable enterprises but operate in restricted waters and are permitted to carry only a fraction of the passengers currently allowed on Waverley.
    Last edited by Waverleyfan3; 10-25-2014 at 01:03.

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    Senior Member GeoffHamer's Avatar
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    There are so many obvious flaws in the idea that the WAVERLEY could run regularly at weekends with a volunteer crew. If it were no longer possible to operate the WAVERLEY with a full-time crew, then the most that could be expected is a limited programme of mostly non-landing cruises from a base port which is all that the SHIELDHALL offers. The KINGSWEAR CASTLE is a very different operation; her operator runs a fleet of ten passenger vessels, including a year-round ferry service, so has experienced crews as well as a shipyard and office staff for marketing and bookings.

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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by Waverleyfan3 Tripadvisor
    Iwhat Master(s) with extensive paddle steamer experience might make himself available every weekend to mastermind such a part-time exercise
    Yup, Captain Peter Roberts is the only possibility in the whole of the UK ...... and he's taken !

    Remember ..... Waverley's captains weren't experienced with paddle steamers ....... until they became so
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-25-2014 at 10:06.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by Waverleyfan3 Tripadvisor
    that there are sufficient volunteers aboard trained and qualified to MCA standards to allow him to sail..
    Well, I survived happily enough on the paddle steamer Schonbrunn with 12 volunteers aboard (20 on longer trips) with up to 600 on board (ie near enough crush loading for Waverley). There was not a single paid person aboard (well I suppose there was because I was still in employment at the time). All went smoothly and I saw no volunteers flaked out after the first (or even the last) half hour of the (day-long) cruise

    The Danube is not a walk in the park - and I would not propose to sail outside Class V waters. You will be aware that Shieldhall is now obtaining her certificate to sail Class III waters rather than just Class V as she has done for many years. God knows how they are going to manage that !

    If Austrians, for most of whom water is something they generally only see out of a tap or an Evian bottle can muster a crew for a limited number of cruises, the UK with masses of people familiar with the sea and many who have worked on it ........... well, I guess not !

    On second thoughts, the new Chief Engineer of Waverley, a retired seafarer (with no paddle steamer experience) had a volunteering job last year before he joined Waverley ............ on Shieldhall ! Volunteers not available and no good then ????

    Anyway, as Shieldhall is on her way out, it seems, let's not lose sleep over things
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-25-2014 at 10:31.

  29. #29
    Senior Member GeoffHamer's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Does the SCHÖNBRUNN sail every weekend on the same schedule? Is there a ship anywhere that does that with a volunteer crew?
    For cruise round Bute, the WAVERLEY needs a Class IV (partially smooth waters) certificate. A Class V (smooth waters) covers the Kyles of Bute, but not south of Bute.

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    Senior Member tramscape's Avatar
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by GeoffHamer Tripadvisor
    Does the SCHÖNBRUNN sail every weekend on the same schedule? Is there a ship anywhere that does that with a volunteer crew?
    For cruise round Bute, the WAVERLEY needs a Class IV (partially smooth waters) certificate. A Class V (smooth waters) covers the Kyles of Bute, but not south of Bute.
    So, I guess that as somebody else doesn't do it exactly the same that must rule it out

    I thought the limit was one mile south of Garroch head allowing a trip round Bute but I stand corrected...... so Kyles of Bute only it is ! Well, no, it isn't because it isn't going to happen !

    Class IV may be acceptable too though - if the capital costs of maintenance and survey etc are not much more
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-25-2014 at 12:29.

  31. #31
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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Tripadvisor Originally Posted by Waverleyfan3 Tripadvisor
    As for Maid of the Loch, those guys at Balloch have worked wonders in restoring her from a virtual wreck, but it's now some 34 years since she last sailed and it's difficult to see how there would now be a sustainable market even if the millions of pounds were forthcoming from the HLF or some other benefactors.
    But surely there must now be several times the amount of people taking cruises on Loch Lomond as there were in 1981?

    Just because they're not at present on a paddle steamer does not mean that the MOL would not get some of the action - perhaps in herself being a catalyst for further growth.

    If she can just get operational the Maid would be a huge success!

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    Re: Tripadvisor

    Talking about Loch Lomond on a TA thread, I see that the Sweeney's General manager responds individually in some detail to each TA review ...... some of which have raised issues ................. but he hasn't really been doing it this year much ..................because the reviews have been pretty good all-round
    Last edited by tramscape; 10-25-2014 at 16:23.

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