At a keel laying ceremony held yesterday, Red Funnel, the Isle of Wight ferry operator, announced that its new £10 million Ro-Ro will be called Red Kestrel. The keel-laying took place at Cammell Laird’s yard in Birkenhead. The British shipyard is scheduled to deliver the vessel in spring 2019.
Red Kestrel will be Red Funnel’s first dedicated Ro-Ro freighter and will provide additional year-round freight capacity on Red Funnel’s Southampton-East Cowes route which currently handles 53 per cent of all freight movements across the Solent.
At 74 metres 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 choice of azimuth thrusters supplied by Rolls Royce, was for high manoeuvrability. The planned crossing time of 55 to 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.