14 February 2018 – Red Funnel, the original Isle of Wight ferry operator has today placed a £10 million order for a new ro-ro freight ferry from UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird.
The new ship is designed to provide additional year-round freight capacity for Red Funnel’s Southampton-East Cowes route which currently handles 53% of all freight movements across the Solent.
At 74m in length, she will provide 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity and will carry up to 12 passengers. To minimise the environmental footprint, the hull shape has been designed specifically to reduce wash and a propulsion package has been selected to make her highly fuel efficient whilst meeting the latest Tier III emission regulations. The use of proven azimuth thrusters supplied by Rolls Royce, will also make the ship very manoeuvrable.
The crossing time of 55-60 minutes will be identical to Red Funnel’s existing Raptor class ro-pax ships and she will use the same berths in Southampton and East Cowes.
The ship will be constructed at Cammell Laird’s famous yard in Birkenhead which built the White Star passenger liner Mauretania in 1938 and HMS Ark Royal in 1955. The yard is currently building the technically advanced polar research ship Sir David Attenborough for the British Antarctic Survey and is scheduled to deliver Red Funnel’s new ferry in spring 2019.
Kevin George, Chairman and CEO of Red Funnel said “We are the number one operator for cross-Solent freight and this new ship will provide more early morning capacity on weekdays and more freight-only sailings between October and March each year. After a competitive tender, we are delighted to place our third new-build in succession with a UK yard. The order will help sustain marine manufacturing in the UK and will bring benefits to the economy of the North West and also to the Isle of Wight once she enters service.”
Business Secretary Rt Hon Greg Clark MP said: “This is another vote of confidence in British shipbuilding and the excellence of our marine manufacturing sector, which we want to build on as part of our Industrial Strategy. Red Funnel continues to grow with this new investment in high quality UK manufacturing. This announcement is great news for the skilled workers at Red Funnel and Cammell Laird, and the local economies of Merseyside and the Isle of Wight”.
The order for the new ship, coupled with the major refurbishment of Red Eagle and the order of Red Jet 7, amounts to an investment of over £20m in Red Funnel’s cross-Solent services since the business was acquired by the consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds in July 2017. The decisions underpin the new owners’ commitment to growing the cross-Solent market and helping to stimulate the Isle of Wight’s economy.
Notes to editors
– Length: 74m
– Beam: 17m
– Passengers: 12
– Crew: 6-7
– Engines: 2 x Cummings Tier III diesels connected to 2 x Rolls Royce azimuth thrusters
– Speed: 12.5 knots @ 85% MCR
– Delivery: spring 2019
About Red Funnel
Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.
In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.
The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, The Red Funnel IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Isle Walk Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a range of community and niche interest events.
Red Funnel’s 2018 Charity of the Year is the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary.
About Cammell Laird
Founded in 1828, Cammell Laird is one of the most famous names in British shipbuilding and is based on the River Mersey at Birkenhead. The site covers 130 acres and includes four dry docks, a large modular construction hall and extensive covered workshops. It is also at the centre of a marine and engineering cluster with easy access to support services classification societies and port state authorities.
Today, Cammell Laird is rapidly expanding as a cutting edge engineering services specialist with a highly skilled workforce and extensive world class facilities to support a broad range of sectors and projects. The company has also continued to develop its capability in the marine sector, and is a world leader specialising in military ship refit, commercial ship repair, upgrade and conversion and shipbuilding.
For further Red Funnel press information contact:
Sophie Barnes / Frances Shondé: [email protected] / 020 36974200