MV Red Kestrel - NEW
Red Kestrel, our new £10 million ro-ro freight ferry is currently being built by the UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird in Birkenhead. This new ship is designed to provide additional year-round freight capacity for our Southampton-East Cowes route which handles 53% of all freight movements across the Solent.
Red Kestrel's keel was laid at a special ceremony held in Birkenhead on 31 May. In time honoured tradition and as a symbol of good luck, an Isle of Wight silver sixpence dating from 1811 and a halfpenny from 1792 were placed under the keelblock. Both will eventually be recovered and presented to the ship when she enters service in spring 2019.
At 74m in length, the new ship will provide 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity which is enough for 12 artics. She 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 use of proven azimuth thrusters supplied by Rolls Royce, will also make the ship very manoeuvrable.
The crossing time of 55-60 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.