New £6m Red Jet ferry to be built on Isle Of Wight

New £6m Red Jet ferry to be built on Isle Of Wight

Red Funnel’s latest passenger ferry will be built at Venture Quays on the Isle of Wight, marking the return of shipbuilding to the island.

Red Jet 6 will be built in East Cowes after Red Funnel received tenders from shipyards around the world. The company has placed an order for a 40m high-speed catamaran with Shemara Refit LLP, for delivery in summer 2016.

Costing £6m, Red Jet 6 will be the first vessel of its kind to be built in the UK for 15 years and is expected to create 40-50 new jobs at Venture Quays.

According to Red Funnel, Shemara Refit won the order by offering a competitively priced vessel which met its design brief and desire to have the vessel built locally. It was also impressed by its restoration of the motor yacht Shemara for Sir Charles Dunstone.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s chief executive, said: “From the outset, Shemara Refit shared our vison to bring fast ferry construction back to the UK and particularly to Cowes on the Isle of Wight where the specialist aluminium fabrication skills and yard facilities still exist.

“The fact they could do this at a competitive price is a credit to the team at Shemara.

“The Red Jet 6 contract will bring significant inward investment to underpin the island’s marine manufacturing sector and help to further grow the Isle of Wight economy.

“Red Jet 6 will serve the Isle of Wight for many years and we believe that it is important for as many young islanders to be involved as possible.”

Peter Morton, managing director of Shemara Refit, said: “We very much look forward to the rebirth of high speed passenger shipbuilding by producing a technically advanced vessel which we believe will have the potential for further orders in the future.

“As a consequence we will be taking on a number of apprentices to provide the skills for the future.”

Red Jet 6 will be Red Funnel’s largest high-speed vessel yet, with the firm claiming it will offer new levels of passenger comfort, reliability and safety. It will also be the greenest ship in the fleet, with design features to reduce fuel consumption and protect the environment.

The vessel will be configured to carry 275 passengers, and will feature leather seats and an air-handling system designed to dry, cool or warm the air automatically, along with free Wi-Fi and provision for 22 bicycles.

Shemara Refit hopes to install a viewing gallery at Venture Quays during the build process, along with a webcam.

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