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UK shipyard Cammell Laird on Merseyside will today announce at the Nor Shipping trade fair in Oslo, Norway ambitious plans to disrupt the new-build ferry market with a new specially designed Ro-Pax ferry.

Liverpool City Region based Cammell Laird is releasing a sneak picture preview of the commercial sensitive design ahead of a formal launch later this year. In addition the shipbuilder will be briefing prospective customers on the design at its stand (D06-15).

Cammell Laird’s project director Andy Askham said the company believes its innovative, environmentally ground-breaking design will prove attractive to an ‘underserved market’.

“The ferry industry is crying out for innovation and green-friendly solutions,” he said. “Our new Ro-Pax design will be in the segment of the market where there’ll be a lot of demand for the next decade. From our discussions with various owners we have seen real interest in our design that thrusts environmental innovation, fuel efficiency and comfort to the forefront of the future ferry market. The global ferry fleet is aging and in need of replacing while ferry building supply, certainly at a sophisticated level, is stretched in Europe in terms of spare capacity.”

Mr Askham said Cammell Laird will be marketing the Ro-Pax design based on its extensive experience and pedigree in the ferry market dating back decades.

“Owners have a degree of confidence in Cammell Laird following a series of new build jobs we have undertaken for the likes of Red Funnel and Western Ferries,” he said. “The Red Kestrel freight ferry we built this year for Red Funnel is a strong example of how Cammell Laird can build to a bespoke design. In addition, we are currently building the RRS Sir David Attenborough Polar Research ship, one of the most advanced vessels of its kind ever built. This showcases the incredible skills and expertise we have in the shipyard – and we won this ship and the Red Kestrel contract against fierce international competition. Cammell Laird can further demonstrate its expertise through the drydocking and repairs we undertake for many ferries each year for a wide variety of customers including Stena, P & O, Seatruck Ferries, Irish Ferries, Mersey Ferries, Calmac and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. We know the ferry market extremely well and believe it is ripe for a genuinely attractive new vessel design offering the most modern features.”

Mr Askham said Cammell Laird is working on the design now with an international design house ahead of the formal launch in planned for later this year.

Published in Ports & Shipping

As Afloat featured last month the naming ceremony of UK Isle of Wight operator's Red Funnel’s new freight ferry, Red Kestrel which officially entered service today following successful sea trials in the Solent.

Red Kestrel which was built by Cammell Laird on Mersesyside marks the operator's first dedicated Ro-Ro since the company’s inception almost 160 years ago and today the small ship set sail on a maiden voyage to the Isle of Wight.

“Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, added: “Today marks a huge milestone in Red Funnel’s history and the Isle of Wight and we are incredibly proud that we can support the Island with its freight requirements. Red Kestrel is unlike any of our ferries and will play a very significant role within the business. It will increase our capacity to transport more private vehicles, enhancing convenience for our customers and giving them more options for when they wish to travel.”

Red Kestrel will operate between Southampton and the Isle of Wight and as a freight vessel, she is limited to 12 passengers and constructed specifically to provide additional year-round freight capacity for Red Funnel’s Southampton to East Cowes route.

At 74m in length, she provides 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity, allowing for 12 HGVs.

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. The use of proven azimuth thrusters supplied by Rolls Royce will also make the ship very manoeuvrable.

A dedicated drivers-only lounge offers comforts and features such as access to hot and cold food, reclining leather seats with footrests, free Wi-Fi and ample charging points.

Red Kestrel will use the same berths as Red Funnel’s existing Raptor class (see photo) ro-pax vehicle ferries in Southampton and East Cowes.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - In the UK at the Merseyside shipbuilder Cammell Laird which has completed building its 1393rd vessel, the previously reported £10m freight-ferry Red Kestrel for Isle of Wight ferry operator Red Funnel.

The Red Kestrel, a new ro-ro freight-only vessel, sailed away from Cammell Laird’s famous River Mersey shipyard following a nine-month build programme.

In total the project used 45 British supply chain businesses and generated 3000 man hours of work for Cammell Laird's apprentices. Cammell Laird further employed 200 direct workers, 200 sub-contractors and 10 apprentices on the contract.

Tony Graham, Cammell Laird’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Cammell Laird would like to thank Red Funnel for placing its trust in us to build this wonderful state-of-the-art ferry, drawing on all our marine engineering expertise. Completing this ship sends a very strong message to the global maritime industry about Cammell Laird’s ferry building capabilities after we won the contract against international competition. We are proud to see the Red Kestrel join a collection of ferries that Cammell Laird has built in recent years in addition to the large number of drydockings and repairs we do each year in the ferry sector.

“Shipbuilding is back in a serious way on the Mersey and it has been brilliant to see the Red Kestrel being built alongside the iconic RRS Sir David Attenborough, which is the largest commercial vessel built in Britain for a generation. Cammell Laird sees a big market in ferry repair, conversion and new build and we will be showcasing our work on the Red Kestrel at the Nor Shipping trade fair in Oslo later this year. It is tremendous to see more ship owners and ferry operators choosing to build in the UK, this is very much in line with the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy which aims to create a renaissance in British shipbuilding as a major job and wealth creator.”

Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, said, “We are delighted to see the Red Kestrel begin its journey to Southampton for her naming ceremony and her life on the Solent. The addition of a new ship is always an exciting time for everyone in the company. We’re thrilled that not only will Red Kestrel increase our total capacity and enhance convenience for our cross-Solent customers but we also take tremendous pride in supporting the revival of world-class shipbuilding in this country. It’s a very special feeling for all of us and we’ve been in very good hands with Cammell Laird. Cammell Laird has been a brilliant partner and we are very grateful for all their tremendous work.”

The Red Kestrel will operate between Southampton and Isle of Wight. The vessel will officially join the fleet on arrival in Southampton, and enter service in May, following trials and its official naming ceremony. The Red Kestrel is Red Funnel's first dedicated RoRo freight ship since the company’s inception almost 200 years ago. As a freight vessel she is limited to 12 passengers and constructed specifically 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. Red Kestrel is due to enter service in May 2019, with the current ferry timetable to be updated to accommodate the vessel.

At 74m in length, she will provide 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity. 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.  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.

Published in Ferry

#ports&shipping - Leadship of a new series of Tide-class tankers RFA Tidespring of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) arrived on the Mersey at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, UK for its inaugural docking period.

The arrival last week of the 39,000 tonne replenishment tanker marks the start of two Through Life Support contracts that will see the UK shipyard and engineering company maintain nine vessels of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) over the next 10 years.

As Afloat previously reported, last year the Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced that Cammell Laird had been chosen to provide support to all four Tide class tankers – RFA Tidespring, RFA Tiderace, RFA Tidesurge and RFA Tideforce – following a competitive two-year tender process.

At the same time the company was awarded a second 10-year contract that will see it continue to provide support for the vessels RFA Fort Victoria, RFA Fort Austin, RFA Fort Rosalie, RFA Wave Knight and RFA Wave Ruler, which it has done since 2008.

Cammell Laird said winning the contracts will sustain more than 300 jobs at the company and across its supply chain, and create more than 100 apprenticeships.

RFA Tiderspring, which entered service in 2017 and is first in a class and the refit package will be carried out over the next four months involving survey work, and general repair and maintenance projects.

Tide class tankers are the newest addition to the RFA Flotilla, designed to supply the Royal Navy’s warships, including the two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, with fuel and water while deployed on operations. They are as long as three jumbo jets lined up nose-to-tail, and can carry 19,000 metres cubed of fuel and 1,300 metres cubed of fresh water.

David Farmer, Head of Commercially Supported Shipping at Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement organisation, said: “The arrival of RFA Tidespring at Birkenhead signals the culmination of an extremely successful first 15 months at sea. Her initial deployments, including those alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth, have been marked by very positive feedback from RFA personnel – indeed, satisfaction with the Tide class has been growing appreciably since she entered service.

“With support for the class underway through the Future In Service Support agreement we now look forward to Tidesurge and Tideforce, the final two ships in the fleet, entering service in the coming months.”

John Kennedy, MOD Programme Director at Cammell Laird, said: “It’s an exciting time for everyone, marking the beginning of another 10-year contract and what I’m sure will be another very successful period of Cammell Laird supporting the RFA Flotilla.

“It was fantastic to secure work for the ships we’ve been responsible for since 2008, and the icing on the cake was also winning the Tide class tankers contract. This is the reward for succeeding in what was a highly competitive two-year tender process and we’re looking forward to getting started.

“The previous RFA contract serves as a fantastic foundation and it’s absolutely our intent to continue delivering continuous improvement, providing value for money for the UK taxpayer and maximising the availability of these ships for the RFA.”

Captain(E) RFA Terry Edwards, Group Technical Superintendent for Tide class tankers, commented: “With RFA Tidespring, as the first of class, commencing her first docking period at Cammell Laird, and also as the first ship to do so under the recently awarded Through-Life Support contract, this is a great start to the next chapter in the company’s long relationship with the RFA and DE&S. Cammell Laird’s ability to begin work on the ship a month early also underpins the company’s agility in responding to the dynamic nature of ships’ programmes.”

As well as allowing Cammell Laird to invest further in its workforce and infrastructure, the new contracts will support the continuation of the firm’s apprentice training programme. The scheme takes in around 20 talented young people from the area each year. More than 250 apprentices have been recruited since 2008, with in excess of £18million invested in the apprentice programme.

Mr Kennedy added: “These contracts will secure jobs, bring money into the local economy and provide a bedrock for our apprentice training programme. It’s really good news for Birkenhead, Liverpool and the wider region, including all the local contractors providing marine support services. A lot of companies will benefit and this is the first of hopefully another 10 years of successful business with the RFA.”

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ferries - At the UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird on Merseyside, the 'float-off' for a new £10 million ferry took place today for Isle of Wight operator Red Funnel.

The Red Kestrel, a new freight-only RoRo vessel, will operate between Southampton and Isle of Wight. The vessel will officially join the fleet on arrival in Southampton, and enter service in May, following a trials and training period. The launch event, marks the debut of Red Funnel's first dedicated RoRo freight ship since the company’s inception almost 200 years ago.

Red Kestrel highlights Red Funnel’s commitment to British shipbuilding and engineering. Red Funnel has a history of investing in UK shipyards, having taken delivery of its high-speed ferries Red Jet 6 and Red Jet 7 from an Isle of Wight based shipyard.

Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel, said, “We are delighted by today’s launch of Red Kestrel. The addition of a new ship is always an exciting time for everyone in the company and we look forward to taking delivery in April. We’re thrilled that not only will Red Kestrel increase our total capacity and enhance convenience for our cross-Solent customers but we also take tremendous pride in supporting the revival of world-class shipbuilding in this country. It’s a very special feeling for all of us and we’re in good hands with Cammell Laird. They have been a brilliant partner and we’re very grateful for all their tremendous work.”

Tony Graham Cammell Laird Chief Operating Officer, said: “Cammell Laird would like to thank Red Funnel for placing its trust in us to build this wonderful state-of-the-art ferry, drawing on all our marine engineering expertise.

“We are especially proud to be working for a British ferry company, winning the contract against international competition. Today marks an important milestone in the project and we are proud to see the Red Kestrel join a collection of ferries that Cammell Laird has built in recent years. Shipbuilding is back in a serious way on the Mersey and it has been brilliant to see the Red Kestrel being built alongside the iconic RRS Sir David Attenborough, which is the largest commercial vessel built in Britain for a generation. Cammell Laird sees a big market in ferry repair, conversion and new build and we will be showcasing our work on the Red Kestrel at the Nor Shipping trade fair in Oslo later this year. It is tremendous to see more ship owners and ferry operators choosing to build in the UK, this is very much in line with the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy which aims to recalibrate British shipbuilding as a major job and wealth creator now and into the future.”

Red Kestrel is Red Funnel’s first ship to be designed for freight traffic. As a freight vessel she is limited to 12 passengers and constructed specifically 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. Red Kestrel is due to enter service in May 2019, with the current ferry timetable to be updated to accommodate the vessel.

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

In total the project used 45 British supply chain businesses and generated 3000 man hours of work for Cammell Laird's apprentices. Cammell Laird employed 200 direct workers, 200 sub contractors and 10 apprentices on the contract.

Red Kestrel: quick facts

-          Length: 74m

-          Beam: 17m

-          Passengers: 12

-          Crew: 6-7

-          Engines: 2 x Cummings Tier III diesels connected to 2 x Rolls Royce azimuth thrusters

-          Speed: 12.5 knots @ 85% MCR

 

 

Published in Ferry

#Ports&Shipping- A UK shipyard based on Merseyside, Cammell Laird is delighted to have been shortlisted, as part of a syndicate of British firms, to compete to build three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships for the country's Ministry of Defence.

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew announced the shortlist which includes a British consortium made up of Cammell Laird, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce and Babcock (see their Devon yard to close in early 2019). They join Italian firm Fincantieri, Spanish company Navantia, Japan Marine United Corporation, and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering of South Korea as the five successful firms who have been invited to submit a tender for the competition.

The FSS vessels will deliver ammunition, food and supplies to UK forces across the globe and will work alongside the Royal Navy’s fleet of warships and will be an important part of the UK Maritime Task Group.

The British consortium commented: “We are pleased to have been down-selected for the UK’s next class of Fleet Solid Support Vessels. The formation of a UK team, consolidates the strength, skills and experience from the UK naval enterprise to develop a highly capable and versatile vessel for the Royal Fleet Auxillary (RFA), while delivering economic benefit and value for the UK tax payer.”

In a UK Government press release, Defence Minister Stuart Andrew added "The widespread interest in this competition shows that our Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary remain among the most prestigious in the world.

These support ships will be vital for supporting our formidable Queen Elizabeth Class carriers and will ensure our warships can deploy in a range of challenging environments and across huge distances, wherever they are in the world.

The five companies, which were selected from eight interested firms, will now develop bids before a final decision is made regarding the winning bidder in 2020.

The FSS ships, up to three of which will be procured through international competition as they are not warships, will be fitted with specialist and classified equipment at a British shipyard before entering service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary from 2026. 

Shipyards across the UK will be able to bid for this work in 2022.

As part of the RFA, the vessels will be civilian-manned and carry self-defence weapons only.

 

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Ports&Shipping - UK based shipyard and engineering company Cammell Laird on Merseyside, says winning two 10-year contracts to support the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) worth an estimated £619million is a massive boost. The announcement will enable the company to continue to invest in its workforce, apprenticeship programme and infrastructure.

In total Cammell Laird said winning the contract will sustain more than 300 jobs at the company and in the supply chain and create more than 100 apprenticeships.

The shipyard located in Birkenhead previously held a RFA cluster contract placed in 2008, which was subject to five-year performance review periods with the Ministry of Defence (MoD). In 2018, the MoD ran a competitive tender process that saw the company win two new contracts to provide support for the next 10-year period from March 2019 to June 2028. The deal, known as the Future In Service Support (FISS) contract, will see Cammell Laird maintain nine ships of the RFA flotilla, the maximum number the company could win.

The shipyard will continue to support the ships in ‘lot one’, covering the RFA Fort Victoria, RFA Fort Austin, RFA Fort Rosalie, RFA Wave Knight and RFA Wave Ruler, at an estimated value of £357 million. In addition, Cammell Laird has won ‘lot three’ which covers the four new Tide Class tankers, Tidespring, Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce at an estimated value of £262million.

Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret CBE said the cluster contract has underpinned the company for the last decade enabling it to invest more than £500million in its workforce, apprenticeship programme, infrastructure, supply chain and local area. He said this new deal will see a similar investment over the next decade.

“Winning this new deal will give us the ability to continue our vital apprentice training programme recruiting talented young people from the area at the same drum beat of around 20 new apprentices a year,” he said. “Today I am very proud to say we have recruited more than 200 apprentices since 2008 investing more than £12million in staff training. The benefits the RFA contract brings to our region cannot be overstated and we will maintain our commitment to ensure this money is invested responsibly in our workforce and infrastructure to support the future requirements of the MoD and growth of the UK’s maritime sector.”

John Kennedy, Cammell Laird MOD Programme Director said winning the new contract is testament to the relationship and understanding Cammell Laird has built with the MoD and the RFA over the last ten years.

“This is tremendous news for everyone involved in Cammell Laird and all the organisations and people who support our vision to bring a renaissance of ship repair and ship building to Merseyside and the UK,” he said. “The effort that has gone into the RFA cluster contract since 2008 has been immense and I pay tribute to all involved including the RFA, the MoD, our workforce and our supply chain who have made this approach to clustering such a success. We have built an enduring relationship with the MoD and the RFA which has consistently driven value for money. The cornerstone of the success is our collaborative approach bringing the MoD, RFA, the customer’s contractors and our supply chain together generating in-depth understanding of the ships and the engineering they require. The effectiveness of this approach is further shown by the awarding of the BS11000 accreditation for collaborative business relationships and management systems which we have achieved together.”

The contract forms part of a wider £1bn deal that will secure hundreds of jobs at shipyards right across the country, announced by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew today. The deal covers 17 ships and will improve how spares, repairs and maintenance work are carried out.

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “This £1bn deal secures work for some of our world-leading shipyards into the next decade, supporting over 700 jobs for workers to ensure our ships remain at sea to defend the nation. This vital work is not only great news for our Navy, but also underlines the importance of defence to our national skills and prosperity.”

Linton Roberts, Cammell Laird Managing Director, said the cluster contract win further strengthens Cammell Laird’s pedigree to undertake more work for the UK MoD, with the company presently bidding to build five Type 31e warships for the Royal Navy.

 “Cammell Laird has a formidable background with the UK MoD having built more than 300 naval ships,” he said. “Working so closely with the RFA positions us well for more UK MoD work, as through the RFA we are very familiar with the stringent project requirements demanded by the MoD. Moreover, in recent years we have helped build over 12,500 tonnes of the two new aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales and we have been building modules for the Astute Class submarines. We are also massively looking forward to welcoming six Type 45 Destroyers over the next five years for major conversion projects. It is this experience and expertise which will underpin our forthcoming Type 31e bid.”

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Shipyards - Merseyside based shipbuilder Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, has announced it has built a network of more than 2,000 suppliers as it steps up its bid to build a cutting-edge warship as Afloat previously covered. 

The UK west coast shipbuilder, repairer and engineering services company says it is registering more than five new suppliers every week as it builds its Leander Frigate supply chain.

The business is bidding to build five Type 31e frigates for the Royal Navy after the Ministry of Defence took its first steps to reopening competition for the shipbuilding contracts.

The Leander, Cammell Laird’s offering designed by BAE Systems, will also be marketed by BAE Systems to international customers.

More than 400 Leander specific suppliers have registered with the programme since the competition was announced in September 2017 as part of the UK’s new National Shipbuilding Strategy. More than 300 have already been cleared to support the company’s UK MOD bids.

Two supplier conferences, held in February and March this year, saw growing support for Cammell Laird’s proposal, with the business continuing to engage with potential suppliers since.

Tony Graham, Cammell Laird Leander project director, said there were still opportunities for interested parties to join the T31e supplier list.

He said: “While our supplier list is already extensive as we select suppliers for the five Royal Navy frigates, BAE Systems has also had strong interest from other countries, so we are keen to hear from more companies that believe they could be part of the Leander success story.”

Businesses interested in joining the Leander supply chain should fill in a registration form on the Leander website by clicking here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Shipyards -  An Irish Sea based shipbuilder on Merseyside, Cammell Laird in Birkenhead has unveiled a new website for a cutting-edge warship, the 'Leander' Frigate, in a bid to capitalise on growing interest from navies around the world.

The BAE Systems-designed vessel is at the forefront of modern warship engineering – a highly practical frigate that offers exceptional flexibility and is capable of delivering low lifecycle costs.

The new website www.leanderfrigate.com contains images, technical specifications, and videos with 3D representations of the Leander, as well as information on the ship’s operational performance, flight deck design, sensors and weaponry options, and living quarters.

Tony Graham, project director for the Leander Frigate, said the warship has huge export potential and is already generating significant international interest. Cammell Laird will look to build on this momentum as they promote their naval shipbuilding capability on the world stage during Euronaval 2018, the biggest naval exhibition and conference of the year, due to take place in Paris between October 23 and 26.

“The new website allows us to highlight some key features and capabilities of this powerful and affordable warship, providing another layer of detail for the export market,” said Mr Graham

“The website launch is also an important part of our preparations for October’s Euronaval exhibition in France, an event that will provide us with the perfect platform to showcase Cammell Laird’s construction capabilities and cost efficiencies.”

“Buyers have been incredibly receptive to the fact that it’s the first time in a generation a warship offered to the Royal Navy that is designed to UK standards, with a UK combat system and a competitive price point, has been made available on the international market.”

At under 4,000 tonnes, the Leander Frigate occupies a space that particularly appeals to most navies, according to Mr Graham. He said the ship’s modern features, including its highly flexible design with a significant mission bay for boats and offboard systems – both unmanned air vehicles and unmanned surface vessels, are proving particularly attractive to customers.

BAE Systems will also be promoting its design for the Leander Frigate at Euronaval in Paris and again at the Exponaval 2018 exhibition in Chile this December.

Supplier interest in the Leander project has been overwhelming, fueled by the market’s enthusiastic reaction to the warship’s design. Cammell Laird, BAE Systems and the Society of Maritime Industries on Merseyside held two sold-out supplier conferences in February and March. As a result, more than 400 suppliers have now registered an interest in joining the project.

 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#FerryNews - An Irish Sea shipbuilder, Cammell Laird, Birkenhead on Merseyside, has been contracted to build a £10m ro-ro 'freight' ferry for a Isle of Wight operator, Red Funnel

The new ship according to a Red Funnel announcement, is designed to provide additional year-round freight capacity for the Southampton-East Cowes route. The service 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. 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.

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.

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

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."

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".

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.

Published in Ferry
Page 1 of 3

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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