Suez Canal Measurement Discrepancies

Published 19 years ago, updated 6 years ago

We have just transited the Suez canal and would like to mention the following.

The discrepancies in the measuring system were highlighted recently when our yacht “Virgos Child”, a Cheoy Lee Offshore 41 and her sister ship, “Horai”, also a Cheoy Lee offshore 41 were measured and assessed at two completely different tonnages and fees. Virgos Child was assessed at $225 US and Horai $185 US. The measurer who came to us just sat below, took one measurement from the floor to underside of the deck, wrote down some measurements from line drawings I gave him [Drawings from Horai] and then left. The next day just before transit I got my ridiculous figure and asked to be reassessed. I visited the head office in Suez spoke with the boss, told him about my sister ship and he said he would send the measurer out again. This was done and another stupid figure was reached, I disagreed again and the measurer was sent out for the third time, this time he actually took some measurements and came up with the figure of $195 US which was getting near the mark. We had actually all measured our boats to the formula supplied by the Red Sea Pilot and were happy with our results. Several Skippers stayed behind to protest and all had their fees reduced by up to $50 US. This highlighted the inefficiency of the system which we were told was fixed for all. Only one boat out of the ten that day was measured correctly and we all protested and eventually had our fees reduced, however, it really left us less than happy. Some of the figures for the yachts were 42ft $160, 47t $190, 25ft $95, 33FT $170, 50ft $160, 41ft $225.

We were well supported in our efforts to have our fees reduced by the Prince of the Red sea Agency who drove us to the Head Office of the Suez Canal Authority three times to protest and also advised us to complain in Ismailia at the Canal head office. We all stopped at the marina at Ismailia and I asked for an Audience with the General manager of the SCA which was granted and we had a long discussion about this long-standing problem. He admitted that there have been problems but they don’t get many written complaints because most people are fed up with the hassles and just want to get to the Med. He asked us to write our grievances down and suggestions and hand them to him the next day. He as promised dropped by Virgos Child the next morning and picked up our letters of complaint from all the boats in Ismailia at the time and also as promised passed them on with me present to the Chairman of The SCA who was visiting the yacht club that same morning. He also urged me to pass on to others that have had a similar problem to write to the SCA and tell him of their experience.

Director of Transit, Suez Canal Authority, Ismailia, Egypt, or fax to Director of Transit, 064 392518. The SCA is eager to stop the problem and with enough complaints will act to identify these large discrepancies. It may not help you but it will sure help your fellow yachties who are coming to the Med in future years. I was assured by the GM and director of transit that I will receive a reply in due course so I will keep you posted.

Terry McCarroll, “Virgos Child”.

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