Cammell Laird stages ‘float-off’ for new £10m ferry for Red Funnel
Cammell Laird has today staged the ‘float-off’ for a new £10million ferry it has built for Isle of Wight ferry operator Red Funnel, the company said in its release.
The Red Kestrel, a new freight-only RoRo vessel, will operate between Southampton and Isle of Wight. The vessel will officially join the fleet on arrival in Southampton, and enter service in May, following a trials and training period. The launch event, marks the debut of Red Funnel’s first dedicated RoRo freight ship since the company’s inception almost 200 years ago.
Red Kestrel highlights Red Funnel’s commitment to British shipbuilding and engineering. Red Funnel has a history of investing in UK shipyards, having taken delivery of its high-speed ferries Red Jet 6 and Red Jet 7 from an Isle of Wight based shipyard.
Red Kestrel is Red Funnel’s first ship to be designed for freight traffic. As a freight vessel she is limited to 12 passengers and constructed specifically 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. Red Kestrel is due to enter service in May 2019, with the current ferry timetable to be updated to accommodate the vessel.
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.
In total the project used 45 British supply chain businesses and generated 3000 man hours of work for Cammell Laird’s apprentices. Cammell Laird employed 200 direct workers, 200 sub contractors and 10 apprentices on the contract.