At a keel laying ceremony, Red Funnel announced its new £10M (US14m) ferry will be called Red Kestrel.
The keel laying took place at Cammell Laird’s yard in Birkenhead and was witnessed by some 300 invited guests. The British shipyard is scheduled to deliver the vessel in Q2 2019.
Chairman of Red Funnel Group Kevin George said “We are proud to have placed this order in the UK as the work helps ensure the revival of world-class shipbuilding in this country. The keel laying is one of the most time-honoured traditions in the building of a ship and we very much look forward to watching the build progress over the coming months. Once in service, the additional freight capacity on our Southampton-East Cowes route will help grow the Isle of Wight economy.”
Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret CBE said “We are especially proud to be working for a British ferry company and winning the contract against international competition. This wonderful new ferry will join a collection of ferries that Cammell Laird has built in recent years. It is tremendous to see more shipowners and ferry operators choosing to build in the UK, this is very much in line with the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy which aims to recalibrate British shipbuilding as a major job and wealth creator now and into the future.”
At 74 m in length, it will provide 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity and will carry up to 12 passengers. A statement explained that to minimise the environmental footprint, the hull shape has been designed specifically to reduce wash and a propulsion package has been selected to make it highly fuel efficient, while meeting the latest Tier III emission regulations. The use of azimuth thrusters supplied by Rolls Royce, will also make the ship highly manoeuvrable.