VESSEL REVIEW | Red Jet 7 – Isle of Wight’s efficient new passenger ferry

Red Funnels’ Red Jet 7 was built in East Cowes, UK, by Wight Shipyard and represents a £7 million (US$9 million) investment in its Southampton-West Cowes route.

Like her near-sisters, 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 nearby leisure craft.

The One2Three-designed vessel is fitted with four MTU 10V 2000 M72 main engines powering quad Hamilton HM571 waterjet units connected via ZF 3050D gearboxes.

This configuration was chosen to ensure high levels of in-service availability as she can operate on two or three engines if any waterjet intakes become obstructed by debris in the Solent. 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 helped Red Jet 7 achieve a top speed of 39 knots in trials, which is in excess of her required in-service speed of 36 to 38 knots.

Internally, Red Jet 7 offers a premium experience with 275 comfortable high-back leather seats with cup-holders, space for four wheelchairs and ample amounts of luggage. USB charging points for phones and tablets have been fitted to all window seats. In common with the rest of the fleet, free wifi is available, offering customers a fast and stable ship-to-shore connection.

LED lighting is provided throughout and the cabin air temperature and humidity is controlled automatically thanks to a sophisticated air-handling system which puts a stop to internal condensation on the windows, all of which are tinted to prevent glare.

Six LED HD TV screens offer a wealth of information in real-time including local and national news headlines, the latest weather and live travel connections for buses, coaches and trains. The screens also show the vessel’s GPS position along the route and can display a live video feed from external cameras facing forward and aft.

Red Jet 7
Type:Passenger ferry
Classification:Lloyds Register
Class:Special Service Craft 2014 Passenger HSC
Port of Registry:Southampton, UK
Owner:Red Funnel, UK
Designer:One2Three Naval Architects, Australia
Builder:Wight Shipyard, UK
Length (overall):41.12 metres
Waterline length (excluding waterjet):37.94 metres
Beam moulded:10.87 metres
Draught (loaded):1.30 metres
Freeboard:2.50 metres
Main engines:4 x MTU 10V 2000 M72, each 900 kW @ 2,500 rpm
Gearboxes:4 x ZF 3050D
Propulsion:4 x Hamilton HM571 waterjets
Steering:Vector control of thrust and steering of both twin waterjets
Generators:2 x 55kW 415v 3-phase 50Hz
Trim Control:Humphree interceptors
Service speed:38 knots @ 85% MCR
Range:200 nautical miles @ 38 knots
Radars:2 x Furuno FAR2817
ECDIS:2 x Furuno FMD3200
GPS:2 x Furuno GP170
Gyrocompass:Simrad GC85
Radios:2 x Furuno FM-8900S
AIS:Furuno FA150
Windlass:Electric, with recoverable anchor
Rescue boat:Stern mounted
Liferafts:3 x 151pax
Lifebuoys:5 x SOLAS approved
Fuel oil:5,000 litres
Fresh water:1,000 litres
Lube oil:50 litres
Sullage:500 litres
Oil bilge:400 litres
Passenger capacity:275 seated + 2 wheelchairs

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