Royal naming for latest UK Red Funnel ferry
Red Funnel’s new hi-speed British ferry has been named Red Jet 7 by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at a prestigious ceremony in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
The contract for Red Jet 7 was placed in summer 2017 and the vessel was launched on schedule and on budget in June 2018. Some 85 skilled Island craftsmen were employed during the build, including several apprentices.
Dave Stewart, leader of the Isle of Wight Council said: “Marine manufacturing is an important sector for the Isle of Wight and Red Jet 7 is proof that we can compete against shipyards around the world.”
Red Jet 7 was built in East Cowes by Wight Shipyard Co and represents a £7m investment by Red Funnel in its Southampton-West Cowes route.
The contract was awarded to Wight Shipyard following the huge success of sister ship Red Jet 6 which was also built at the same yard in East Cowes.
The construction of both new Red Jets equates to a £13m investment by Red Funnel in the Isle of Wight and Solent economies with a further £10m being spent on the twin phase expansion and redevelopment of the company’s East Cowes terminal which is due for completion in 2020.
Like its sister vessels, Red Jet 7 uses waterjets rather than propellers to aid manoeuvrability and provide impressive stopping power. An advanced hull-design and computer-controlled interceptors also help keep the wash to an absolute minimum which is good news for leisure craft.
The vessel is fitted with four MTU 10V 2000 M72 main engines powering quad Hamilton HM571 waterjet units connected via ZF 3050D gearboxes. Exhaust emissions fully comply with the IMO Tier II regulations.
Other technical innovations to help reduce fuel consumption include the use of specialist marine grade vinyl instead of paint for the superstructure to reduce weight and the application of the latest Teflon hull coatings to minimise drag through the water.
Such technology has helped Red Jet 7 achieve a top speed of 39 knots (44.9 mph) in trials which is in excess of her required in-service speed of 36 to 38 knots.
By Anne-Marie Causer
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