Red Funnel Freight ship: First look dedicated craft

Here’s the first look at Red Funnel’s newly-ordered ship. This one is dedicated to carrying freight only, hence it can only carry 12 passengers for the 12 HGVs it can take across its four lanes. Full size images can be seen below.

red funnel new freight vessel

Red Funnel share this latest news today. Ed

Red Funnel, the original Isle of Wight ferry operator has today placed a £10 million order for a new ro-ro freight ferry from UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird.

The new ship is designed to provide additional year-round freight capacity for Red Funnel’s Southampton-East Cowes route which currently handles 53% of all freight movements across the Solent.

At 74m in length, she will provide 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity and will carry up to 12 passengers.

Designed to reduce wash
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.

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New Red Funnel Freight ship: Back looking left

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.

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New Red Funnel Freight ship: Square from back

Built in the UK
The ship will be constructed at Cammell Laird’s famous yard in Birkenhead which built the White Star passenger liner Mauretania in 1938 and HMS Ark Royal in 1955.

The yard is currently building the technically advanced polar research ship Sir David Attenborough for the British Antarctic Survey and is scheduled to deliver Red Funnel’s new ferry in spring 2019.

Click on image to see larger version
Click on image to see larger version
New Red Funnel Freight ship: Underneath

Kevin George, Chairman and CEO of Red Funnel said

“We are the number one operator for cross-Solent freight and this new ship will provide more early morning capacity on weekdays and more freight-only sailings between October and March each year.

“After a competitive tender, we are delighted to place our third new-build in succession with a UK yard. The order will help sustain marine manufacturing in the UK and will bring benefits to the economy of the North West and also to the Isle of Wight once she enters service.”

Vote of confidence in British shipbuilding
Business Secretary Rt Hon Greg Clark MP said:

“This is another vote of confidence in British shipbuilding and the excellence of our marine manufacturing sector, which we want to build on as part of our Industrial Strategy.

“Red Funnel continues to grow with this new investment in high quality UK manufacturing. This announcement is great news for the skilled workers at Red Funnel and Cammell Laird, and the local economies of Merseyside and the Isle of Wight.”

Investment of over £20m
The order for the new ship, coupled with the major refurbishment of Red Eagle and the order of Red Jet 7, amounts to an investment of over £20m in Red Funnel’s cross-Solent services since the business was acquired by the consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds in July 2017.

The decisions underpin the new owners’ commitment to growing the cross-Solent market and helping to stimulate the Isle of Wight’s economy.

Click on image to see larger version
Red Funnel Freight Ship technical drawings

Wednesday, 14th February, 2018 12:04pm



Filed under: Business, East Cowes, Ferry, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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6 Comments on "Red Funnel Freight ship: First look dedicated craft"

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Fantastic that you are supporting UK ship building, unlike the opposition.


Well done Red Funnel for using an UK boat builder.
No jolly visits during the winter to Turkey.
Red Funnel gets my business.


When you say the images are ‘full size’…


Should it not be a requirement that a Red Funnel ferry actually has a funnel painted red?

Steve Goodman
1. Will these new freight-only sailings all be additional to the current crossings or will some non-freight customers have to wait longer in future? 2. If RF’s bosses have now become genuinely keen to “minimise the environmental footprint” it’s not too late for them to improve their own E.Cowes site without continuing to needlessly harm other people’s homes, jobs, businesses, and wallets with their greedy land and… Read more »

This is great, but I am hoping that the current early morning/night crossings “with restricted capacity” will still continue. I think these carry freight and hazardous goods.