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Old 11 Mar 2013
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Ferry Crossing Straps


Can anyone advise the best way of strapping my R1200 GSA on the Hull to Rotterdam ferry, I am used to using the eurotunnel so this is my first overnight boat crossing, the bike will be fully loaded, so is the side stand or the centre stand the best option ? I believe P & O have the straps available, can anyone help !

Many thanks

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Old 11 Mar 2013
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Usually the ferry operators strap the bike! They do that because of the insurance cover.

I prefer the side stand ... and set into first gear. Provides the largest area with some resistance to movement. But you do need a strong side stand.
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Old 11 Mar 2013
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Thanks, the bike has a good side stand, just a bit worried about it being top heavy !
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Old 11 Mar 2013
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I've NEVER had any of the ferry operators strap my bike, even when it looked like I'd need the help! I always ratchet the strap onto to side stand. I've read I'm supposed to leave it in gear, but I never have and have had no issues - again, fully loaded (F800).

My best advice is to do what seems sensible to you. I relented once and "listened" to the advice of others, who had no experience with my bike, and it nearly ended badly! There's no substitute for common sense!
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Old 11 Mar 2013
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If your going with DFDS you will need to strap your bike up yourself! Not sure about other ferry companies though... In Sweden you just get given ropes!

- Put it on the side stand and in first gear.
- Use 2 straps.
- 1 over the bike from the front to the back over the seat pulling it down onto the side stand.
- Use your gloves under the straps to prevent rubbing paintwork.
- Use the 2nd strap again either over the bike again or maybe round your crash bung / frame again pulling it onto the side stand.
- You will have either metal rope which runs along the floor or anchor points to attach the straps to.
- Some people on rough crossing's cable tie their break lever closed.
- Don't forget to put your alarm on ferry mode!

Have fun and don't worry about strapping up your bike... you will be sure to find other helpful bikers! I know that we did on our first ferry journey!

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Old 12 Mar 2013
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Ferry Crossing Straps

On the Hull-Rotterdam crossing they now provide basic straps instead of the bits if oily rope they used to give you, but you still have to diy
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Old 24 Mar 2013
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Wink tie downs

tie it down like you would in a trailer!!
bike sits upright and held in place by 4 tie downs ,brake lever is tied up or elastic banded and keep it in first gear.it doesnt matter how rough the sea gets you can sleep soundly and be ready for the offski on arrival bright as a button......
more importantly no risk of heavily laden supertankers (gsa ,s ) damaging their sidestands as
side stands are like your knees you need to take care of them ...you,ll miss them when there gone!!!
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Old 24 Mar 2013
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Lots of operators strap it down for you- ask them which stand to use- centre usually IIRC. The ropes and straps are usually manky so you wouldn't want to touch 'em anyway. You usually have to unstrap them though...

One thing that might be handy is a carpet tile- they sometimes strap over your seat and it doesn't half dig in- takes up no space down the side of a pannier.
1997 R1100GS, 1985 Laverda RGS, IBA 44014
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Old 7 May 2013
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Strapping nightmare

Hi, Just returned from ferry crossing from Hull to Rotterdam, absolute nightmare, the straps provided were new but too short, all the bikes were kept together in a section wide enough for one car, they then had straps running from one side to the other with buckles on for your straps to fasten to, the problem being when you hook your straps into the cross straps, no matter how tight you make them, there is still slack in the cross strap, also other bikes use the same cross straps as well, so if theirs goes over, so does yours, the bikes are also parked in twos, giving no room to work on putting your straps on, one guy had his mirror knocked off, I had to wait until the guy behind, moved his bike before I could undo my straps.

I made sure that I purchased long straps for the trip back, and made sure that my bike was central, on its side stand, in 1st gear, with one supplied strap on the cross strap, and my four straps directly into the deck.
Not ideal, Ill be using the tunnel again from now on !
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Old 7 May 2013
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I must say that the only concern I've ever had on ferry crossings ( mainly Dover Calais) is to be sure my "neighbours" strap their bikes properly too !

I hang around and just watch what they do Just in case they haven't done it before............Then offer my advice and a piece of string if needed Side stand / First gear / fix brake. Would be a bad start or finish to a trip if my bike gets dropped on by another

Saw one guy put his bright shiny bike away from all the others and strap it on centre stand all the while shouting some "vernacular street expletives " mainly about not wanting his mates bikes falling in his.
It was down on our return.

Had he not used so much foul stuff on a crowded deck maybe I may have suggested it was better another way. To remove the "tar effect" many others and myself were no doubt given, I helped a lady carry her bag up the stairs.
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Old 7 May 2013
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Thanks for the useful report from the Hull-Rotterdam route Tony. That doesn't sound a sensible arrangement at all. Best to take your own strap I think.

Originally Posted by ajmac View Post
it doesnt matter how rough the sea gets you can sleep soundly and be ready for the offski on arrival bright as a button......
....... not if you've got sea-legs as wobbly as mine.....!
Had some pretty bad crossings but never a problem with the bike or any neighbour's. There'll alway be help if you're unsure.

Anyone remember the Isle of Man cattle steamers of the 60s? King Orry, Ben-my-Chree, Mona’s Isle?
All the bikes were parked 5 or 6 abreast in the gangways, leaning up against stout timber doors along the in-board side of the gangway. For each brace of bikes the crew would tie a rope to the outside footrest of the outer-most bike, stretch it over the seats of the other bikes and tie it to a huge handle on the door.
On the doors was proudly stencilled, in large letters, the word 'Lifejackets'......

What used to worry me was not so much the state of the sea, but the shaking of the engines. On one crossing, sunny and warm, we sat on large bench seats which were up-turned life-rafts, out in the open on an upper deck. The vibration was so bad it was impossible to sit stationary on the bench. However much you held on you were propelled along the bench until one-by-one we all fell off the end, pushed there by the vibration. (Definitely not by the )
But at least we were free to wander along the gangways to check our bikes weren't heading towards the railings.

IIRC there were a fair number of bikes damaged on the crossings each year.
TTR250 - London to Cape Town
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Old 7 May 2013
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Originally Posted by Endurodude View Post
I've NEVER had any of the ferry operators strap my bike,
Ditto, more or less, in that I can't remember when that used to happen on the various UK ferries (and I have used most of them over the years); some time "back in the days" it did used to be done by the ferry staff.
I suspect that the ferry companies have switched the insurance aspect onto the traveller - it would be interesting to know if anyone has had a claim for damage to a bike met by one, or other, of the ferry companies.

Apart from that, every time I have asked the deckhands about the centre stand Vs side stand option the answer has always been "3 points of contact with the water/oil covered steel deck are better two" i.e. go for the side stand.
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