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UK’s Red Jet 6 Catamaran ferry completes sea trials

The new addition to the UK’s Red Funnel ferry fleet, Red Jet 6, has completed its initial sea trials and is scheduled to enter service between Southampton and West Cowes.

Shemara Refit has built the new Red Jet 6 passenger ferry at its facilities on the Isle of Wight. The ferry entered the water for the first time in May.

The new 41.12m long ferry has is capable of accommodating 275 passengers.

The ferry is powered by Rolls-Royce’s four 900kW MTU 2000 diesel engines, each powering a waterjet for propulsion and steering, and ZF Type 3050D gearboxes.

In order to improve redundancy the numbers of engines were increased from two to four, which have the capability to shutdown individually, allowing the ferry to maintain the service running on three engines with just small reduction in speed.

The catamaran will run every half hour, moving passengers between Southampton and the Isle of Wight. It is claimed to cross the distance of 9.9nm in 23 minutes.

The ferry will be the greenest ship in Red Funnel’s fleet with several design features to reduce fuel consumption and protect the environment in line with the company’s ISO 14001 accreditation.

Red Jet 6 is the largest vessel in Red Funnel’s high-speed fleet, while also the first of its kind to be built in the UK for 15 years.

Red Funnel fleet and technical director Mark Slawson said: “We’ve used MTU engines exclusively in our high-speed fleet since the 1980s as their low operating costs and outstanding power-to-weight benefits make them ideal for the stop-start nature of our operation.

“The benefits of the quad propulsion package fitted to Red Jet 6 is reduced fuel consumption and fewer cancellations to remove waterjet obstructions.”

Red Funnel vessels have been ferrying passengers between the UK mainland and the Isle of Wight for about 155 years. The company currently carries nearly 3.4 million passengers on the route every year.

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