New £10m freight ferry on schedule for Spring 2019

The fabrication of Red Funnel’s new £10m state-of-the-art freight ferry is on schedule at Cammell Laird’s famous shipyard on Merseyside.

Red Kestrel is being built inside the main construction hall in Birkenhead from nine individual steel blocks.

Work started in May this year and since then, the superstructure and Bridge have been completed together with 64% of the hull.

The remaining sections are scheduled for completion by mid-October and most of the machinery, pipework and electrical equipment will be installed over the next four months.

Welding away

All the outfitting and painting will be complete by early January 2019 to enable the commissioning of equipment and sea trials to be undertaken prior to her delivery to the Solent next spring.

Fran Collins, Red Funnel’s CEO commented: “We are extremely pleased with the progress of Red Kestrel’s build. The project management skills and the build quality at Cammell Laird are superb and this reinforces our decision to back UK manufacturing and the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy by placing the order with a British yard.”

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

Red Kestrel will provide 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity

Red Kestrel is due to enter service in spring 2019 and will provide additional year-round freight capacity between Southampton-East Cowes which last year handled 53% of all freight movements across the Solent.

A more frequent vehicle ferry timetable will be introduced to accommodate Red Kestrel from April 2019 and Red Funnel is currently seeking feedback from its customers on the proposed changes – see