Any suggestions, comments or advice regarding how to secure your bike on the ferry when travelling with DFDS to Holland. This is my first time abroad with my bike and the staff on the end of the phone didn't exactly fill me with confidence about it.
DFDS Ferries - Newcastle to Amsterdam
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Securing bike on ferries.
I travelled on the Newcastle ferry two weeks ago, and the crew give out two ratchet straps per bike to secure it. But be quick as I saw some of our foreign bretheren grabbing 3 or 4 for their bikes.
Its best to check out your bike now for suitable places that a strap can go!
I find it better to leave the bike on it's sidestand, lock the steering and if possible applying the front brake is a good idea.
On my X11 I can pass one strap through over the top of swing arm pivot just behind the rear wheel and in front of the shock absorber, I have a hugger fitted but it isn't in the way at all. When this one single strap is tensioned up the bike is securely planted to the deck for the trip.
If your really worried fix another strap but make sure it's somewhere safe!
My return journey was the worst crossing I have ever had 21 hours, we docked in Newcastle at 2pm should have been 9am, the seas were breaking over the 9 storey high ferry all night this was Monday 25th / Tuesday 26th June when Yorkshire was getting all the floods. On getting to the car deck the bike was still securely held in place.
Some people attach straps from the rear carriers which I don't like, as all that pressure eventually gets transferred to the rear subframe of the bike and these ratchet straps can exert some force. A mates rear subframe snapped a couple of years ago when a DFDS deckhand decided to help him out! That's why the crew no longer help to secure bikes, in case of a claim!
Hope you have a calm crossing!
some old rags and put them between strap and bike, save scratches.
Have you considered riding further down the country, crossings from Felixstowe much shorter or even down to Dover. Calais only couple hours from Amsterdam.
Securing bike on ferries.
my bike has always been ok with the strapes over the seat while on the centre stand with a chock under the wheels, you just have to be careful while puting the strap on not to damage your paint work, the rags idea is a good one
Thanks for the advice.
My bike has no centre stand so I think I'll go with the over the swingarm idea at the back. I'll probably secure the front too. Was planning on taking my own ratchet straps and rags. Are the deck floors fitted with securing rings for this purpose?
I did consider going down to Dover but I only live about 15 miles away from the Newcastle/North Shields ferry terminal. Cost of fuel for the return trip took away any saving I would have made.
Depending if you are on the LH or RH car decks there is a cable running down the outside wall of the ferry which you can clip your strap onto.
It is important to line up the fixing eye on the deck with your swing arm position so that when the strap passes through, it is more or less straight across the bike if you understand what I'm trying to explain.
Yes using a rag or gloves to cushion the strap over the bike is a good idea, prevent any potential scuff marks.
Securing bike on ferries
I think I get what you mean. Thanks for the advice.