Order placed for new Isle of Wight Red Jet 7 passenger ferry
A new £7m cross-Solent high-speed catamaran is to be built on the Isle of Wight.
Operator Red Funnel announced RedJet 7 will be built by Wight Shipyard Ltd, securing 85 jobs in East Cowes.
The order marks the first major investment by the consortium of UK and Canadian pension funds which bought Red Funnel earlier this year.
Red Funnel chief executive Kevin George said the bid was “competitive in terms of price and quality”.
“The order represents a £7m investment in the local economy and will secure a wide range of skilled jobs in East Cowes and in the local supply chain,” he added.
The 41m (130ft) vessel will be capable of carrying 277 people and is a sister ship to RedJet 6 which was launched last year.
It is expected to enter service in summer 2018.
Peter Morton, managing director of Wight Shipyard said the new vessel would offer “ground breaking levels of reliability, safety and passenger comfort”.
Following the delivery of the last cross-Solent craft, the company won two new fast-ferry orders from London-based MBNA Thames Clippers.
Red Jet 7 will have a ship-to-shore Wi-Fi system, on board toilet as well as design features to reduce fuel consumption.
More than 1.1m passengers use the high-speed service between Southampton and West Cowes each year.