New British-built Isle of Wight Freight Ferry Prepares for Delivery Voyage

Summary: Red Funnel's brand new purpose-built freight ferry is preparing for her delivery voyage to The Solent following sea trials earlier this week.
Red Funnel's British-built freight ferry RED KESTREL on trials in the River Mersey on April 8th 2019. Copyright © Das Boot Photography.
Red Funnel's British-built freight ferry RED KESTREL on trials in the River Mersey on April 8th 2019. Copyright © Copyright © Das Boot 160 Photography.

Update 11.04.19 PM: RED KESTREL left Birkenhead for Southampton earlier today as a “dead ship” under the tow of the tug WILLPOWER, assisted while in The Mersey by VITAL.

Red Funnel's brand-new freight ferry RED KESTREL begins her delivery voyage to Southampton. She was towed "dead ship" be the tug WILLPOWER (left) assisted in The Mersey by VITAL. Copyright © Copyright © Christopher Triggs.
Red Funnel’s brand-new freight ferry RED KESTREL begins her delivery voyage to Southampton. She was towed “dead ship” be the tug WILLPOWER (left) assisted in The Mersey by VITAL. Copyright © Copyright © Christopher Triggs.

Red Funnel’s brand-new freight ferry RED KESTREL undertook sea trials on Monday in advance of her handover later.  The £10m ferry was built by Birkenhead shipbuilders Cammell Laird who laid her keel on 31 May 2018 and floated her off on February 19 this year.  RED KESTREL will be able to accommodate 265 lane metres of freight, equivalent to 12 articulated lorries, as well as their drivers within her 74m length.  She is powered by two Cummins QSK38 diesel engines, a larger version of the same type which powers STRANGFORD II which was also built at the same yard.  These engines drive two Rolls Royce azimuth thrusters giving her a service speed of 12.5 knots. 

RED KESTREL moves to Cammell Lairds wet basin after float off. Cammell Laird
RED KESTREL moves to Cammell Lairds wet basin after float off on February 19th 2019. Cammell Laird

RED KESTREL is expected to enter service on the busy Southampton to Cowes route in early May, providing additional capacity to the existing passenger and vehicle ferries RED OSPREY, RED FALCON, and RED EAGLE. The new vessel can accomodate 12 drivers and will carry a crew of 6 or 7.

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