‘Red Kestrel’s first freight cargo

'Red Kestrel' leaving Southampton for Cowes 'Red Kestrel' leaving Southampton for Cowes
Industry Database

Following her naming last month, Red Funnel’s new freight ferry, ‘Red Kestrel’ has officially entered service following a successful few weeks of sea trials in the Solent.

Red Kestrel marks Red Funnel’s first dedicated Ro-Ro freight ship since the company’s inception almost 160 years ago.

“Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, said: “Today marks a huge milestone in Red Funnel’s history and the Isle of Wight and we are incredibly proud that we can support the Island with its freight requirements. Red Kestrel is unlike any of our ferries and will play a very significant role within the business. It will increase our capacity to transport more private vehicles, enhancing convenience for our customers and giving them more options for when they wish to travel.”

Red Kestrel will operate between Southampton and the Isle of Wight and 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 to East Cowes route.

At 74m in length, she provides 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity, allowing for 12 HGVs. 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. Unlike Red Funnel’s raptor class RoPax ferries which have a Voith Schneider propulsion unit at each end, the smaller Red Kestrel uses azimuth thrusters supplied by Rolls Royce.

By Jake Frith

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