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Arrival:  Arrival | Approach | Pilots | Anchor
Communications:  Pratique | VHF | VTS/Radar
Berthing Ops:  Tugs | Berths | Mooring
Cargo:  Bulk | Containers | Other | Tankers | Gas | Cranes   ...
Pollution:  Waste
Facilities:  Medical | Water | Fuel | Drydock | Repairs   ...
Security:  Police etc | Emergency | Security
Local Info:  Weather
Shore:  Consuls | Tel. | Airport | Connections | Banks
Crew:  Leave | ID Cards
Misc:  Authority
Report:  Report


Max. Size:  LOA 225 m., draft 8.4 m. Passengers:  LOA 225 m.
Fuel:  By barge with notice.
Airport:  Nantes Atlantique Int'l, 8 km.
Medical:  Facilities available.

Port Plans

St Nazaire ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Montoir ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Montoir ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Montoir ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Donges Refinery ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Donges Refinery ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Donges Refinery ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Site Portuaire de Chevire Aval ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Site Portuaire de Chevire Amont ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )

ACE Reports

SHIPMASTER'S REPORT: June 1980 (Updated 2002)
Montoir:  (Discharging ammonia), see Plan.
Approaches:  BA 3216, 2989 and 2647, outer coverage not very good. Arrived in good visibility so shore lights gave good positions. Ile de Yeu does not show up very well on the radar until only about 16 n.m. off. The light on Ile de Yeu is listed on different charts as having different characteristics and in fact agreed with that in the Light List. The mainland showed up for some considerable distance but no worthwhile details were identified until well up to ``SN1'' Buoy (Racon).
The light on ``SN2'' was seen about the same time as ``SN1'' and is much brighter. Both buoys were seen on radar at 10 n.m. As there are many fishing vessels, identification of these buoys in poor visibility would require a great deal of care.
Once in the ``tanker channel'' proceed to the pilot station as indicated on the chart.
Note:  Remember the standard message to ``Surnav France'' for a tanker carrying hydrocarbons.
Pilotage:  Contact made on VHF Channel 16, working VHF Channel 12. Good communications.
Pilot cutter is a large vessel which will come close alongside and send away a small boat. Pilot ladder 0.3 m. above the water.
The cutter surprised us by steaming towards us at full speed and we eventually met some 3 n.m. west of the boarding area.
Vessel may only berth (and unberth) at slack water at Montoir. Being loaded means having to arrive at the top of the tide, although if in ballast one may sail at low slack water. Should any supertankers be moving at that time, presumably having booked their tide first, vessel will not be allowed to sail. The Pilot could not confirm whether incoming ships had priority.
Note:  Unberthing tugs and Pilot to be booked by 1800 hrs. for the following morning. Vessel charged if unable to meet that particular slack water after ordering.
Three tugs used for berthing and unberthing; tugs lines, 1 forward, 1 aft and 1 pushing amidships. Back springs sent away first.
When unberthing vessel moves upstream to turn.
Mooring boat to handle ropes.
Note:  There were a lot of buoys which are not marked on the chart.
Time of pilotage to first line ashore 1 hour 30 minutes.
Berth:  Consists of a small T-jetty with a line of dolphins standing proud of it by 1.5 m. These extend from just forward of the accommodation to No. 1 tank dome.
Mooring arrangements were adequate and the linesmen were reasonably adept.
Shore gangway must be used.
It is necessary to rig the low extension to the liquid manifold as the shore chiksan has insufficient upreach.
Storing:  before this call the berth operators allowed vessels to take on provisions and foodstuffs but port regulations forbid the loading of machinery items or heavy lifts during discharge.
The derrick only plumbs the after corner of the T-jetty and all items have to be manhandled from the gate to the derrick hook.
If any items of machinery are to be landed or loaded, it is necessary to do this either before discharge or after completion; the port authorities insist on the chiksan being disconnected, merely stopping discharge is not sufficient.
Similarly they will not allow a forklift truck to operate on the berth during pumping operations.
Lube oils were taken at this call and we were able to continue this during discharge, simply because the lines were connected before the chiksan and the lorry was still parked outside the jetty access.
However, after discharge, protest was made against the very low discharge rate and frequent stoppages; the berth operators were most upset by this and have sworn that NO STORING will be allowed there in future. This situation will obviously have to be checked very thoroughly in the event of having a large storing/lube oil programme. Barges are not allowed alongside during discharge.
Discharge:  As already noted the low load/discharge line must be rigged on the port side before arrival.
There is no vapour return line. Ship supplied 10 in. reducer.
Storage capacity ashore is about 25,000 tonnes.
On arrival there was only a reported 2,000 tonnes in the shore tanks and they were therefore warm with consequent problems for the initial discharge. Apparently these tanks are loaded from the top, the liquid being allowed to free fall to the bottom. In the first 24 hours the discharge rate was little more than 80 t.p.h. and there was a total of 5 hours 29 minutes stoppages at shore request. We could not discover whether this was usual or if it was due to some uncommon machinery defect.
On boarding, the receivers quoted a maximum rate of no more than 400 t.p.h. and probably no more than 300 t.p.h. In fact, once the shore problems were resolved we rapidly increased to 550 t.p.h. and then up to 800 t.p.h. at times. At all times ship discharged to shore requirements, shore personnel at the chiksan communicating with the officer of the watch, but only by coming on board. No telephone contact, no walkie-talkie. A telephone was put on board by the Agents.
Port regulations require ship to maintain continuous watch on VHF Channels 16 and 12.
Receivers originally requested vessel to blow through lines on completion but this was not required.
Overall discharge rate 365 t.p.h.
Surveyor:  Redwoods, figures taken on gauging of ship's tanks.
General:  Fresh water available from quay, not costly.
Bunkers must come by barge, usual restrictions.
No film exchange possible unless with another vessel. If the depots at out ports have sufficient it may be possible to carry out an exchange if ample warning is given.
Chandler was quite good but closes over the weekend, plenty of warning should be given for unusual items.
Access to St Nazaire by taxi, about EUR10.
Papers: 2 Crew Declarations. 2 Stores and Bonded Stores Lists. Port Health Form; their own form, spares supplied. 1 Passenger Declaration, made up on board.
Applied for radio pratique but this was not granted before arrival.
Agents: Very good, very helpful with good representation on board. Local office in Donges, main office at Nantes.
Ballast:  The river water is very dirty indeed, flood only being marginally less so than the ebb. High injection points only should be used.
If at all possible ballasting should only be carried out from about half flood to just beyond HW to minimise the amount of deposits within the ballast tanks. Even then an immediate programme of flushing tanks should be put into effect on clearing the river.
Density varied from 1025–1010.
SHIPMASTER'S REPORT: August 1989 (Updated 1994) Vessel:  268,000 d.w.t.
Donges:  Berth No. 7.
We arrived at Donges after a part discharge elsewhere with a draft of 11.8 m. The pilots advised us that they take vessels up to 15.0 m. draft, and if conditions and tides permit, up to 16.0 m. draft at Donges. A VLCC of more than 300,000 d.w.t. has been handled in a lightened condition.
Approaches:  The approaches are quite straightforward as the vessel can only be berthed at Donges at slack water.
The vessel anchored in the waiting area until the pilot boarded, which was 2.5 hours before high water at Donges.
Pilotage:  The pilot boarded from a small launch from the cutter which comes close alongside in the waiting area. We were instructed to have the anchor aweigh and to provide a good lee. It was not necessary for the vessel to steam to the usual pilot boarding station.
Tugs:  Five tugs were used, they approached the vessel after passing under the bridge.
Moorings:  The moorings were as per Plan), namely 2 head lines, 2 stern lines, 2 breast lines forward and aft and 2 spring lines forward and aft. Ship's lines are sent away first, after which mooring gang boards by the shore gangway to assist the ship's crew to take up the 6 shore wires.
Loading:  The berth is equipped with 4×16 in. chiksans for crude oil and 1×12 in. chiksan for bunkers.
Departure:  Unberthing is performed at slack water and is normally in daylight for vessels of this size as vessels are berthed port side alongside and have to be swung after unberthing. Slack high water is preferred for unberthing, but for vessels that can achieve a light draft it is sometimes possible to unberth at slack low water.
When we were ready to sail the tugs were not available as they were shifting a new ship at St Nazaire Shipyard and the Port Authorities would not permit us to depart at night, so we had to wait nearly 24 hours after completion of discharge before sailing. This particular set of circumstances does not occur very often.
Repatriation:  Easily undertaken via Nantes Airport which is about 1 hour by taxi from Donges. The local airport at St Nazaire is visible from the berth, but was not convenient as there were no weekend flights, also crew members undertaking international flights would have to change at Paris.
Garbage:  Garbage disposal can be arranged by the agent, we had a large skip (30 cu.m.) left on the quay during our stay.
Cranes:  There is a small hydraulic crane on the jetty which is used for positioning of the shore gangway, it may also be used for loading small quantities of stores and laundry and off-loading of garbage, etc. The driver must be ordered from the Port Authority in advance and there is a charge for this service.

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OVERVIEW:  Nantes and its sub-ports handle general cargo, dry and liquid bulk, containers, forest products, Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo vessels and cruise traffic
LOCATION:  On the River Loire in NW France.
Donges: On the north bank of the Loire, 6 n.m. NE of St Nazaire.
Montoir: On the north bank of the Loire, 2.5 n.m. NE of St Nazaire.
St Nazaire: At the mouth of the Loire, north bank, approx. 28 n.m. downstream from Nantes.
CHARTS:  SHOM Charts No. Int. 1840, 1841 and 1842. BA Charts No. 2646, 2985, 2986 and 2989.
BA Charts No. 2646, 2985, 2986 and 2989.
Publications:  BA Bay of Biscay Pilot, NP 22.
   Bills of Lading
   Cargo/Ballast Manifest
   Crew Effects Declaration
3 Crew Lists
1 Inward Declaration
   Maritime Declaration of Health
3 Passenger Lists
   Ship Sanitation Control (Exemption) Certificate
1 Ship's Particulars
   Ship's Register
1 Stores List
ISPS COMPLIANCE:  Port is compliant.
PFSO:  Tel: +33 (2) 4000 4527. F: +33 (2) 4000 4566.
MAX. SIZE:  Nantes:  LOA 225 m., draft 8.4 m.
Passengers:  LOA