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Vessel Archive 1981-2010

Company seal
HM2 GH2019hovercraft
Registered No:unknown
Builders:Hovermarine Ltd
Built:1969
Acquired:1981
Tonnage:unknown
Dimensions:51'0" x 20'0"
Machinery:3 x Cummins diesels
Withdrawn:1982

This hovercraft was chartered to help meet increased demand but in the main she was used for transporting shipyard workers between East Cowes and Vosper Thornycrofts Itchen yard. After the arrival of the fourth hydrofoil, Shearwater IV, the craft was no longer required.

Company seal
HM2 GH2024hovercraft
Registered No:unknown
Builders:Hovermarine Ltd
Built:1969
Acquired:1981
Tonnage:unknown
Dimensions:51'0" x 20'0"
Machinery:3 x Cummins diesels
Withdrawn:1982

This was the second hovercraft taken on by Red Funnel to meet the increased demand for high-speed services. She was mainly used on the shipyard service but occasionally appeared on the scheduled Southampton-Cowes run.

Company seal
Shearwater VIhydrofoil
Registered No:700233
Builders:Rodriguez, Messina
Built:1982
Max Speed:33.5 knots
Tonnage:31.5 tons displacement
Dimensions:20.95m in length
Machinery:1 x 1287 hp V12 331 MTU diesel, single screw
Withdrawn:1999

The arrival of Shearwater 6 from Italy, the fourth in her class left the two hovercraft redundant. Her arrival consolidated the high speed service as there was now sufficient back-up craft to improve resilience and cope with peak demand like Cowes Week. Like her sister, Shearwater 6 acted in a back-up role after the arrival of Red Jet 1 & 2 in 1991 and was eventually withdrawn in 1999 after the delivery of Red Jet 3 in 1998. She was sold to dive operators in Thailand.

Red Funnel Red Jet 1
Red Jet 1hi-speed catamaran
Registered No:719584
Builders:FMB Marine, Cowes
Built:1991
Max Speed:35.5 knots
Size:168 gross tonnes, 32.5m x 8.4m 
Machinery:2 x 1360 kW 12V 396TE84L MTU diesels, 2 x MJP waterjets
Passengers:Passengers:
Sold:2009

Red Jet 1 proved to be a revolutionary step forward and was the first waterjet propelled scheduled high-speed ferry on the Solent. Accommodating 138 passengers in comfort and offering excellent visibility, she completed the crossing at 32.5 knots in just 22 minutes. Her arrival led to the withdrawal and sale of Shearwater 3 in 1992. The delivery of Red Jet 3 in 1998 meant the normal two boat service was shared between Red Jet's 1, 2 and 3 but Red Jet 4's arrival in 2003 relegated Red Jet 1, like her sister, to a back-up role. She was sold in May 2009 to Caspain Mainport for continued service in the Black Sea. Click for detailed technical specification and video.

Red Funnel Red Jet 2
Red Jet 2hi-speed catamaran
Registered No:721064
Builders:FMB Marine, Cowes
Built:1991
Max Speed:35.5 knots
Size:168 gross tonne, 32.5m x 8.4m
Machinery:2 x 1360 kW 12V 396TE84L MTU diesels, 2 x MJP waterjets
Passengers:138 seated
Sold:2009

Identical to her sister Red Jet 1, the new craft were an instant hit with customers and set new standards of comfort and all weather reliability. Her arrival led to the withdrawal and sale of Shearwater 4 in 1992. The delivery of Red Jet 3 in 1998 meant the normal two boat service was shared between Red Jet's 1, 2 and 3 but Red Jet 4's arrival in 2003 relegated Red Jet 2, like her sister, to a back-up role. Red Jet 2 was sold in May 2009 to Caspain Mainport for continued service in the Black Sea. Click for detailed technical specification.

Raptor ro-ro Red Falcon
MV Red Falconro-ro vehicle ferry
Registered No: 
Builders:Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow
Built:1994
Max Speed:14 knots
Tonnage:3,953 gross tonnes
Dimensions:93.22m x 17.5m
Machinery:2 x FHD240 Watsila diesels, 2 x Voith Schneider propellers
Passengers:895

One of two identical sisters ordered in 1993, the Raptor class as they were known, were a doubled-ended design with a central bridge affording excellent all-round visibility. There was no centre casing to impede loading and deployable mezzanine decks could be deployed in various configurations to improve flexibility. Voith Schneider propulsion, trialled on previous vessels in the fleet, gave excellent manoeuvrability, enabling her to turn on her own axis and even move sideways! Red Falcon entered service in April 2004 wearing the Company's new corporate identity and was an instant hit compared to the old Castle class ships. Red Falcon, like her sisters was lengthened and fitted with a new car deck by Remontawa Shipyard in Gdansk between Jan-Mar 2004. This increased her capacity to approximately 220 cars.

Raptor ro-ro Red Osprey
MV Red Ospreyro-ro vehicle ferry
Registered No: 
Builders:Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow
Built:1994 (modified in 2003)
Max Speed:14 knots
Tonnage:3,953 gross tonnes*
Dimensions:93.22m* x 17.5m
Machinery:2 x FD340 Watsila diesels, 2 x Voith Schneider propellers
Passengers:895

Sister ship to Red Falcon, Red Osprey entered service in October 1994 after being delayed on route from the shipyard by extreme weather in the Irish Sea. Identical to the Red Falcon, she was the first of the class to be lengthened and fitted with an additional end-to-end car deck. The work was carried out between October and December 2003 by Remontawa Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. Red Osprey returned to service with a new red and white paint scheme and the Company's logo on her sides. At the time she was the largest ferry ever to serve the Isle of Wight. Project video & image gallery

Raptor ro-ro Red Eagle
MV Red Eaglero-ro vehicle ferry
Registered No: 
Builders:Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow
Built:1996
Max Speed:14 knots
Tonnage:4,075 gross tonnes
Dimensions:93.22m x 17.5m
Machinery:2 x FD340 Watsila diesels, 2 x Voith Schneider propellers
Passengers:894

Surging demand for cross-Solent travel brought the order for this ship forward from 1998 to 1996. Red Eagle, the Company's flagship can be distinguished from her two sister Raptor class vessels by having a taller funnel and a raised bridge which was designed to maintain sight-lines fore and aft. This was necessary due to the increased length of the passenger accommodation deck. The higher bridge section also provided more office and meeting room space for the crew. In the winter of 2004, Red Eagle was fitted with a new mid-section and a new end-to-end car deck, increasing vehicle capacity to 220 cars. She returned to the Solent in early Jan 2005 and entered the record books as the largest ferry to serve the Isle of Wight, a record she holds to this day.

Red Funnel Red Jet 3
Red Jet 3hi-speed catamaran
Registered No:901323
Builders:FMB Marine, Cowes
Built:1998
Max Speed:38 knots
Tonnage:213 gross tonnes
Dimensions:32.90m x 8.32m
Machinery:2 x 1500 kW 12V 396TE74L MTU diesels, 2 x MJP waterjets
Passengers:190 seated

A similar hull form to Red Jet 1 & 2, Red Jet 3 provided much needed seating capacity to help cope with increasing numbers of commuters on the West Cowes-Southampton route. Higher rated engines provided a top speed of 38 knots and trim-tabs helped ensure the low-wash characteristics of the design were maintained. Onboard, passengers were treated to a drinks service, improved ventilation and a video safety announcement. Red Jet 3 is the work horse of the fleet and in 2007 leather seats and LCD screens were added together with improved luggage space. Technical specification & image gallery

Red Funnel Red Jet 4
Red Jet 4hi-speed catamaran
Registered No:906937
Builders:North West Bay Ships Pty, Hobart
Built:2003
Max Speed:42 knots
Tonnage:342 gross tonnes
Dimensions:39.88m x 10.82m
Machinery:2 x 1740 kW 12V 4000 M70 MTU diesels, 2 x MJP waterjets
Passengers:275 seated

Built in Hobart, Tasmania, Red Jet 4 is the only vessel Red Funnel has built outside the UK and offers a big step forward in terms of ride comfort, speed and low-wash. Anti-vibration mountings separate the hull from the cabin to reduce noise and vibration, whilst vertical interceptors lift the aft section of the hull when deployed at speed to reduce wash. Capable of speeds in excess of 41 knots, Red Jet 4 is the fastest commercial passenger catamaran in the Solent. Technical specification & construction video

Red Funnel vessel Bergen Castle
MV Bergen Castlero-ro vehicle ferry
Registered No:unknown
Builders:Loland VFT, Norway
Built:1976 (acquired in 2003)
Max Speed:12.5 knots
Tonnage:1,220 gross tonnes
Dimensions:66.02m x 12.25m
Machinery:1650 hp Normo LDMB-9, 1 x variable pitch propeller each end
Withdrawn:2005

Purchased from a Norwegian operator, Bergen Castle was a temporary vessel used to maintain the service whilst the Company's 3 Raptor ships were away being stretched and refitted in Poland. Bergen Castle took over Red Osprey's duties in October 2003 and covered for both Red Falcon and Red Eagle. She had 2 cargo decks, accommodating about 85 cars & 5 lorries, a side mounted bridge with two control positions and 2 passenger saloons for up to 250 people. She was fitted with a single variable pitch propeller mounted at either end. Although inferior to the Raptor fleet in terms of speed, manoeuvrability, capacity and interior comfort she provided a useful role until the Red Eagle returned from Gdansk. She was withdrawn in early 2005, sold to Greek interests in Nov 2005 and renamed Stella.

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RedFunnel Address post@redfunnel.co.uk.

Contact Centre: Bookings Tel (Within UK): 0844 844 9988. Tel (Outside UK): 0845 155 2442. Customer Services: Tel +44 (0)23 8001 9192

Switchboard: Tel +44 (0)23 8024 8500. Fax +44 (0)23 8024 8501.

Registered in England: 002404, VAT number: GB 902 873131. All Rights Reserved, © 2014 Red Funnel (i-2deb656d)

Isle of Wight Port Addresses: Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries, Trinity Road, East Cowes, Isle of Wight PO32 6RA | Red Funnel Red Jet Ferries (West Cowes), Fountain Yard, West Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 7AR.

Southampton Port Addresses: Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries (Terminal 1), Terminal 1, Dock Gate 7 off Town Quay Road, Southampton, SO14 2AR | Red Funnel Red Jet Ferries (Terminal 2), Terminal 2, Town Quay, Southampton SO14 2AQ.

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Red Jet Hi-Speed service
Southampton <> West Cowes, Isle of Wight
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Service is operating normally

Passenger Vehicle Ferry service
Southampton <> East Cowes, Isle of Wight
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Service is operating normally

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